Orange peel could be used to make biobased plastics commercially within two years, according to scientists behind a breakthrough discovery at the University of York. Scientists say they can break down peel into simple monomers that can be used to make plastics and that there is no reason why the technology could not be in wide use soon. The research team subjected orange peel to microwaves to extract the hydrocarbon limonene found within it. Limonene is used as a degreasing agent in industry and is commonly found in household products such as washing-up liquid and fabric detergent. However, the scientists found that the process also caused the limonene to break down into monomers that could be used to make biobased plastics.