Electrolux has announced they’ve created a vacuum cleaner made from “used products such as hair dryers, vacuum cleaners and computers [originating] from Nordic households.”
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As you can see, there’s no sexy hero shot of the finished product. That’s because the exercise was more a proof-of-concept, to see what troubles they’d run into during the development process:
“More than 400 million metric tons of plastic are produced globally every year, but less than 12% of this comes from recycled materials. Therefore manufacturers have difficulty finding enough safe and consistently high-quality recycled material….
“To step up the pace, Electrolux is partnering with Stena Recycling in the collaboration Circular Initiative. The goal is to learn more about how to make the market for recycled plastics function as well as for virgin materials. The first concrete result is a visionary vacuum cleaner made of 100 percent recycled plastic and reused components from electronic consumer products. The prototype [was] developed to explore circularity in household appliances.”
In undertaking the project, Electrolux is seeking to understand how to balance the regulatory requirements, materials quality and safety issues that manufacturers of household electronics have to contend with. And though they succeeded in creating a workable prototype, the road ahead will be a long one: The company’s target is for “all Electrolux product ranges [to] contain at least 50% recycled materials”–by 2030.