In a project both aimed at addressing a number of key recycling challenges and promoting circularity in household appliances Electrolux and Stena Recycling, a Swedish recycler of, among others, discarded electronic consumer products, have jointly developed a vacuum cleaner prototype made of 100% recycled and reused materials.
It is not Electrolux’ first foray into the use of recycled plastics - back in 2010, the company was the first in the industry to raise awareness about the global shortage of recycled plastics through its Vac from the Sea project.
Today’s prototype, however, is a harbinger of more to come. The vacuum forms part of Electrolux’s Circular Initiative, which aims to boost the market for recycled plastics alongside alternative materials to virgin plastics. By 2030 all Electrolux product ranges will contain at least 50% recycled materials.
To that end, Electrolux is partnering with Stena Recycling on its circularity initiative, with the goal of learning more about about how to make the market for recycled plastics function as well as for virgin materials. The new prototype made from post-consumer electronic products including hairdryers, computers and other vacuum cleans from Nordic households. This focus on consumer products has enabled the project to study the lifespan of the recycled products and components to gain insights about consumer recycling behaviors and attitudes.
“The partnership with Stena Recycling is one of the important initiatives we engage in to push ourselves and the industry forward through knowledge sharing and innovation. We want to support consumers in making sustainable choices, and to succeed we need a solid approach to circularity”, said Electrolux chief executive Jonas Samuelson.
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.
“The Swedish industry has all the right conditions to become a pioneer in circular flows. We have the know-how, we have the technically advanced processing plants needed, and we have companies willing to take the lead in circular production. Through the Circular Initiative we provide our expertise when collaborating with our partners to create world leading circular solutions,” said Kristofer Sundsgård, CEO at Stena Recycling.