Bio-Peel: Design student develops orange peel-based food packaging

Innovators from around the world are finding numerous sustainable solutions to packaging issues that utilise what Mother Nature already provides. Working specfically with one of Mother Nature’s fruits, a design student has created a new material, Bio-Peel, which blends waste orange peels with a mixture of other biodegradable products to create a new packaging material that’s strong, malleable and environmentally friendly.

Bio-Peel, a new material unveiled by Brunel University London student Denny Handley, uses a mixture of orange peels sourced from industrial juicing waste, bio-polymers, vegetable glycerine – a by-product of bio-diesel – and water, and is hardened through a process of moulding, baking and drying.

The material’s opaque and rustic nature makes it a viable option for use as an alternative to single-use plastic at farmers’ markets or delis. It could also be used to make other hard surfaces, such as tables.

Denny Handley said: “My aim was to replace single-use plastic alternatives with a fully biodegradable option. Initially I had the idea that you could use all the waste produced making one litre of orange juice to create the carton, but the material itself steadily degrades in water, so I looked for other applications for it.”

The design student from Peterborough said the material was incredibly strong and durable, taking “over half a tonne of compressive strength on certain samples” under test conditions. “It’s really strong,” he said. “I also shot a piece with a shotgun too, and it stopped the pellets, so maybe I should be sending it to the military.”

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at

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