A VACUUM CLEANER MADE FROM 100% RECYCLED MATERIAL
THE VISION BECAME A REALITY
In mid-October, Electrolux together with Stena Recycling presented a vacuum cleaner made entirely from recycled materials and recycled parts. The vacuum cleaner is the result of intensive collaboration within the framework of Stena Recycling's collaboration arena Circular Initiative.
The project started shortly after last year’s Circular Initiative when the COO of Electrolux promised that a vacuum cleaner made of 100% recycled material would be presented at the next event. The promise was held, and the vision became a reality. Electrolux and Stena Recycling’s material and design experts have worked hard during the year to realize the idea.
So far, it is a prototype in a limited edition, but the team has shown that it is possible to achieve fully functional products from recycled materials. It is a milestone on the road to circular products.
The project group has also identified how the vacuum cleaner can be made recyclable by avoiding the use of different types of plastic. The next step will be to look at what more can be achieved in the design phase through design for recycling.
“We at Electrolux have a strong commitment to reduce our climate impact by 2030 and here circularity is a key factor,” says Jonas Samuelson, President and CEO of Electrolux. “The partnership with Stena Recycling is one of the important initiatives we’ve entered. We’re advancing both our own capabilities and those of the industry, through knowledge sharing and innovation.”
The materials and parts come directly from Stena Recycling’s advanced recycling facility, Stena Nordic Recycling Center in Halmstad.
The recycled plastic is of very high quality. It has also been shown that very many parts that are taken from discarded electrical appliances are still serviceable. Of all the vacuum cleaner motors tested in the project, the majority had retained 80 percent of their useful service lives. Cord reels and indicators for the vacuum cleaner bag are examples of other parts that can often be reused.
The project team includes sustainability experts, engineers and product designers. Both the production of new parts from recycled plastic and the assembly of the entire vacuum cleaner were carried out in Sweden.
The plan now is to test the model in everyday use. In this way, we can optimize function and service life. It has already undergone the same lab tests as mass-produced vacuum cleaners, which has provided important insights.
From Stena Recycling’s side, the project is being led by Louise Eriksson, a member of the newly started organization Stena Circular Consulting – a department at Stena Recycling that assists the company’s customers in their transitions to the circular economy.
“It is exactly this type project that challenges us in further advancing our positions,” says Mattias Nilsson, Sales and Marketing Manager, Stena Recycling, who is responsible for starting up the new department.
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