Orange dome vending machine: Feel the Peel

Plastic waste has become an intractable problem that requires urgent solutions. So much so that WWF has launched a 450-year live broadcast showing the process of a plastic bottle dissolving in nature to draw attention to this issue. As awareness of this issue has increased around the world, plastic packaging materials are slowly being replaced by more environmentally friendly solutions. 

We have already reported that supermarkets in Thailand and Vietnam have started using banana leaves instead of plastic packaging in the vegetable and fruit sections. On the other hand, Scientist Sandra Pascoe made waves with the natural plastic obtained from cactus juice. MakeGrowLab, on the other hand, proposed a natural plastic called SCOBY made from vegetables against the plastic waste problem. 

Now, as with coffee cups made from coffee waste, there is a technology that obtains packaging from waste, "Feel the Peel".

Orange dome vending machine: Feel the Peel

Orange juice is one of the healthiest things we can buy from a vending machine. Moreover, in many of these machines, it is possible to see how the oranges are squeezed in real-time. Feel the Peel is one of these vending machines. 

It is a prototype machine that uses orange peels to create bioplastic and serves the juice of the squeezed oranges in glasses made from this bioplastic. The machine is a project prepared for Eni by Carlo Ratti Associati, an Italy-based international design and innovation studio known for its crazy projects such as Scribit, a robot that prints on the wall, and a human-powered gym-ship. 

The 2.74 m high machine can store 1,500 oranges on its dome-shaped roof. Since the oranges can be seen from the outside, this is a very sympathetic dome. It also collects the peels of the oranges it squeezes in a smaller tank at the bottom. He dries the peels, grinds them, and mixes them with polylactic acid to create a bioplastic. It then heats and melts this mixture and sends it as filament to a built-in 3D printer. 

The printer then prints recyclable orange juice glasses. Carlo Ratti Associati predicts that they will continue to develop this technology and in the future, they may even be able to produce clothes from orange peels.


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