Orange Peel. A Key Ingredient In Eco-Friendly Innovations.
Orange Peel is a hero ingredient in our ‘Glam & Good To Go’ Turmeric & Orange Peel Facial Oil Serum. It is chosen for its amazing benefits and its eco-friendliness. The waste products of oranges (particularly the orange peel) are becoming a popular recyclable and sustainable resource leading to some exciting eco-friendly innovations and forcing more industries to examine the value of waste.
Although the use of orange peel used to be popular in many traditions around the globe, it lost its popularity in the modern era and its versatility became undervalued. Today, the impact on our ecosystem is increasingly worrying. We can’t continue to ignore the role waste can play in creating sustainable ways of living.
The Orange Peel Problem
The food industry (including the orange fruit) produces products on a massive scale and therefore food waste contributes to environmental problems on a large scale too. The production of oranges has exploded since the 1980s and the juice industry has rapidly grown to such an extent that orange juice is on everyone's breakfast table around the globe. In 2019, 54.28 million tons were used for production worldwide. Large scale productions are estimated to leave over 3 million tons of orange peel as wastage with a high carbon footprint.
Taking natural resources on this scale causes a detrimental effect on the environment and a hefty 18% of the Food Industry’s global greenhouse emissions come from food waste alone. However, hope and inspiration can be found in stories where people dared to think differently. Here are stories of how orange peel is finding its way back as a sensational eco-friendly saviour to change the way we look at waste.
Giving it back - The Story in Costa Rica.
In 1997, two ecologists from Princeton University worked on research in Costa Rica. They convinced an orange juice manufacturer to dispose of their orange waste, free of charge, on barren land at a national park. The waste was left for natural biodegradation as a solution to carbon emissions. A year in, 12,000 metric tons of orange peel and pulp were disposed of on the barren land but the agreement was abruptly terminated by Costa Rica’s supreme court. A rival orange juice company filed to sue the company for disposing of waste that ‘defiled a national park’. The orange peel on the land was abandoned and neglected. 15 years later, when the ecologists returned to that barren land which had become unrecognisable, the land had been fertilised by the orange peel. The composition of the soil became rich in nutrients and the land came back to life as a lush green forest with a remarkable increase of 176% in tree biomass compared to adjacent land where orange peels were not disposed. The ecologists highlighted the importance of private companies’ involvement in local communities so that food waste can be utilised for fertilising degraded land that not only eliminates high carbon emissions but actually contributes to reviving forests.
The Orange Peel Catwalk - New Biodegradable Silky Fabric
In Sicily, a company has innovated a new biodegradable fabric made from the cellulose fibres from citrus waste called Orange Fibre. Although citrus waste was traditionally used for animal feed, the cellulose fibres couldn’t be used. The company produces a yarn using the citrus fibre that is woven into a high quality, silky fabric. In 2017, the luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo used Orange Fibre fabric for scarves to celebrate World Earth Day. The fashion industry has been encouraged by these innovations and is embracing eco-friendly innovative and sustainable alternatives. H&M featured Orange Fibre in their 2019 Conscious Exclusive Collection.
Orange Peel Wrapping It Up! - Biodegradable Food Packaging
A product design student at Brunel University, London recently created ‘Bio-Peel’, a strong malleable packaging that is completely biodegradable and made using orange peels. It has gathered interest and is an improvement on other more fragile eco-friendly food packaging currently available. Its strength could mean that it could even be used as material to make furniture.
Sustainable living can be enjoyable and these stories of how orange peel is leading eco-friendly innovations inspire us to think differently. What may have been considered as waste could become a valuable skincare ingredient.
For Crush N Mix, the story from plants to product matters and we dare to think differently. We won’t hesitate to explore new sustainable sources for plant ingredients. Our vision is to have care and compassion at each point along the skincare story. From where the plants grow, the community who lives there, the people who pick and process, the packaging used, to the point where it meets your skin. We are changing the way we look at waste. How about you?
Crush N Mix