Your morning cup of OJ could become a lot more eco-friendly in the future thanks to a novel (or navel!) circular juice bar developed by Italian design studio Carlo Ratti Associati. The system, which was created for Italy-based global energy company Eni, juices oranges and then turns the unused orange rind into 3D printed bioplastic cups. The machine, charmingly called Feel the Peel, is a prototype system that hopes to make one small part of our daily life more circular.
Standing at 3.1 meters in height, Feel the Peel is a marvel in terms of design. Circular in its economy and in its structure, the juice bar’s domed roof is made up of 1,500 oranges, which automatically slide down into the squeezer when someone orders a cup of juice.
Once the orange has been halved and juiced, the remaining orange peel is dumped into a transparent bin at the base of the machine. When the compartment is full, the rinds are dried and milled to create an orange powder which is then mixed with PLA to form a printable, bioplastic material.
Amazingly, customers can actually watch the printing process in action, as cups are 3D printed layer by layer. Imagine that: sipping freshly squeezed orange juice out of an orange cup while watching more cups being made!
To complete, the circular design of the Feel the Peel machine, the orange-based cups can then be recycled or reused. Down the line, Ratti says that the Feel the Peel juice bar could also integrate additional functions, including producing fabric made from orange peel.
“The principle of circularity is a must for today’s objects,” commented Carlo Ratti, founder of the eponymous studio. “Working with Eni, we tried to show circularity in a very tangible way, by developing a machine that helps us to understand how oranges can be used well beyond their juice.”
The innovative juice bar will be deployed at the Singularity University Summit in Milan on October 8 and 9, 2019. Afterwards, it will tour Italy to showcase the potential of the technology and of a more circular approach to, well, orange juice.