Organic waste




Main ingredients

Organic waste

Organic waste material

The future should be one without without harmful materials and where waste is a resource. With a 100% organic binder, almost any type of organic matter can be moulded into functional products. Caracara showcases their development of biomaterials and manufacturing techniques through artistic installations and design products such as lampshades, tiles and furniture. The possibilities of form are endless, as the materials can be compression or extrusion moulded, 3D printed, shaped by hand, machined, laser cut and dyed.

The main ingredients for Caracara's lampshades are orange peel, which comes from local supermarkets’ juicers. Around 16 million tons of orange peel is produced every year from the juice industry, and it takes around 20 squeezed oranges to create one lampshade. In other words, each lampshade is the by-product of someone drinking two litres of orange juice. The other main ingredient for the lampshades are pine needles, which fall each year from discarded Christmas trees. Tree sizes vary, but on average 12 lampshades can be made from one tree.

Resources for biomaterials are everywhere, and different colours and raw materials can be combined to create an unlimited mix of surface finishes, textures and structural qualities. These materials are completely biodegradable and after their useful life they can be composted or broken down to make new products.

Creating materials from local waste streams has the potential to reduce the harmful environmental impacts caused by toxic materials, irresponsible use of natural resources, and international shipping of raw materials. In the near future Caracara aims to visit various places, teaching how to turn local waste into functional products.

Text submitted by the maker

Ingredient list

Locally collected organic matter and waste streams, eg. fruit and vegetable peel, pine needles, reed.


This material exploration started in 2015 and has been carried out under Mandin Collective and Caracara Collective. In 2018, one of our founders Aleksi joined sustainable construction company Biohm in London as Material Development Manager, introducing these peel materials to create the backbone for Biohm's Orb material (Organic Refuse Biocompound).

Photo credits

Tania Malréchauffé

Physical samples

0001-1, 0001-2, 0001-3, 0001-4, 0001-5, 0001-6
Accessible to visitors of the Future Materials Lab