Why make electronic devices from recycled plastic
The question that we should all ask ourselves, and especially large companies, is: Why not do it? The result obtained is of identical quality to that of the virgin equivalent, with the same aesthetic and functional characteristics, where sustainability and quality go hand in hand.
Faced with the challenge of improving the environmental impact of electronic products, it is easy not to know where to start. In these products there are so many different materials, components, processes and actors that the number of variables to be resolved is very large.
It has been proven that 80%
the environmental impact it has
a product can be prevented
at the design stage.
At Hune, we quickly identified an important part of the problem: the casings and other covering materials for electronic devices generate a volume of waste and a huge negative impact on the environment. This presented us with a high opportunity for improvement with a series of concise decisions: the virgin plastics that are used in 99.99% of the electronic products on the market come from non-renewable raw materials derived from petroleum, resulting in an unsustainable practice that starts with of a finite resource and whose extraction and manipulation generates high CO2 emissions and serious impacts on the landscape and nature. The first big decision seemed to take itself: we had to make it from recycled plastic.
Plastic, the culprit of everything?
Plastics are often highly criticized from an environmental point of view, however the biggest problem is not the material itself but the lack of information accompanied by a poor waste management policy that allows easy recovery and recycling. With the correct use (and reuse) of plastics, the environmental impact can be even less than that obtained by using alternative materials such as metals.
Every year, 8 million tons
plastic metric end
in our oceans .
When we started this project, we got down to work to ensure that the plastics of our products had certification of post-consumer recycled origin, a milestone for a brand as young as ours.
With this we have achieved three main benefits:
- Reintroduce plastic to the production chain: there are more than enough plastics in circulation today to produce what we need. Why do we continue to use virgin plastics when there is so much plastic out there waiting to be recycled? By giving them a new life we avoid deepening extractivism while preventing our lands and oceans from being flooded with discarded post-consumer plastics.
- Reduce carbon footprint: Obtaining plastic suitable for production from post-consumer recycled pellets is much easier than obtaining it from oil, it involves fewer processes and less energy consumption because, in fact, it is already transformed into the final material. To give an example, in the case of recycled ABS -a high-quality plastic that we use in the casings- the CO2 footprint is, according to our calculations, 94.08% less than that of the virgin equivalent.
- Closing the circle on our products: Recycled plastics are in turn recyclable, so that in addition to giving a second life to disused raw materials, the materials we use can in the future be part of other products. This versatility together with proper management such as the one we propose in alliance with the program JER – Board, Delivery and Recycle and recycled by REMSA allows to recover tons of plastics, components and other materials of great value to re-introduce them again.
When making decisions, we cannot deny that our pulse has trembled. We analyze the specific needs of each product to find an alternative that offers us the same characteristics, but with less impact. We constantly seek a balance in all the decisions we make: its impact, its accessibility, functionality, costs, degree of toxicity, its disposal or recycling were some of the innumerable variables considered.
Today we are convinced that making our casings and covers from recycled plastic (accompanied by a campaign to raise awareness and facilitate recycling together with JER/REMSA) was the best decision we could make for our products. Nobody is perfect, and we are no exception: with a challenge as ambitious as the one we have set ourselves, there will always be improvements to be made. This is the best way that we have found within our reach today. We know that there is still a long way to go and there will always be screws to adjust… we are (im)perfectionists, and those are the things that make us lose sleep at night!
What we do know today is that thanks to this decision we have been able to reduce the emissions generated by the coating materials of our products in order to contribute as little as possible to global warming. If you wish to consult more specific data, the impact reports of each of our products are available to you on our site.
We hope we have clarified why we decided to bet on these materials and that the article has been interesting for you. Has it helped to change your opinion about plastics, especially recycled ones? Your opinion interests us!