Cleaning the house with orange peels


Karina Santamaría, creator of the project to reuse orange waste

Karina Santamaría, creator of the project to reuse oranges waste
Juani Ruiz placeholder image

‘Citrus’, this is the name that Karina Santamaría, a student at the Alcoy Campus of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), has created with the aim of giving a second life to orange waste, mainly, for the production of cleaning and hygiene products. A completely sustainable process that has as fundamental pillars sustainability, commitment to society thanks to the creation of jobs and the fulfillment of some Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A project that has already won some awards for its entrepreneurial nature.

Getting performance out of orange peel, this is the main objective of the project of the UPV student from the Alcoy campus Karina Santamaría. Turn all that waste into cleaning products and thus take advantage of the multitude of capacities that the wrapper of this Valencian fruit has. As its creator explains, “the conversion process would be carried out through the construction of a second-generation biorefinery, where the orange waste goes through processes in which all the properties and the remaining matter are extracted. in order to obtain these new products. ”

As its creator ‘Citrus’ remarks, its fundamental pillars are sustainability, commitment to society thanks to job creation and the fulfillment of some Sustainable Development Goals (ODS), among which are; Sustainable cities and communities, climate action and partnerships to achieve the goals, a factor that, as Karina highlights, “is highly valued when it comes to receiving aid and subsidies to start it up in the future.”

Another of the strengths of this project is that the final product is not packaged in individual containers, but is sold through dispensers, with the purpose that each user provides their own container or that reusable containers are used. “The objective is reduce the use of single-use plastics and in this way make people aware of the importance of recycling and that a second life or a second use is possible for many of the containers, objects and materials that we have around us, “says Santamaría.

Projects for the future

The idea arose in the course ‘Operations Strategy’ of the MBA in which they had to propose a new business model and the corresponding operations strategy. The student insists that “it is important that in the projects that are proposed to us within the universityIn both undergraduate and master’s degrees, let’s put all our will and potential “because you never know” when projects can bear fruit ».

‘Citrus’ is raised from the need to take advantage of the human talent generated within the university. Karina Santamaría maintains that profiles related to engineering or ADE are “necessary to produce a good and quality product“. The entrepreneur also indicates that” cooperation with companies in the sector that have experiences in lines of business similar to those proposed in this project is necessary. ”

Karina has studied the Degree in Engineering in Industrial Design and Product Development, and the Master’s Degree in Business Management (MBA). Both degrees at the Alcoy Campus of the UPV. Studies in which, as he indicates, “I have tried to make the most of it to convert, in this case, a fictitious idea into a possible future project”. Its business model has already received some recognition as is the third prize of the ‘lV Start UPV Contest – Campus d’Alcoi’ and the prize of the IX Contest of Entrepreneurial Companies and Projects of the Mancomunitat de l’Alcoià i el Comtat, two recognitions that reward their high involvement in the project .

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