Bio-Peel, a new material unveiled by Brunel University London design student Denny Handley, blends waste orange peels with a mixture of other biodegradable products to create a new packaging material that’s strong, malleable and environmentally friendly.

“Initially I had the idea that you could use all the waste produced making 1 liter of orange juice to create the carton,” said Handley, a product design student at Brunel University London. “But the material itself steadily degrades in water, so I looked for other applications for it.”

The new material 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 molding, baking and drying.

“My aim was to replace single-use plastic alternatives with a fully biodegradable option,” said Handley, 22, from Peterborough, who’s exhibited his product at Made in Brunel at the Bargehouse in London’s Oxo Tower earlier this month.

According to Hanley, the material’s opaque and rustic nature means it’s unlikely to be adopted for selling goods in the supermarket yet more likely to be used in situations such as farmers’ markets, delis or packing crates. It could also be used to make other hard surfaces, such as tables.

“It’s really strong — when we tested it, it took over half a tonne of compressive strength on certain samples,” he added.