Materials & Recycling

Materials & Recycling

Use of recycled materials. We’ll always endeavour to specify a recycled material where we feel its appropriate but this is often a trade off with other factors such as material efficiency (as the mechanical properties of some recycled materials, especially plastics, can be lower by comparison). In addition, recycled materials may not provide the same longevity or generate the same desirability as a ‘virgin’ material and the product may have a shorter lifespan as a consequence (not so green). Our experience has taught us that finding a supply of recycled material of consistent quality is, at present, not always that easy. It’s because of factors such as these, we also think that rating the ‘sustainability’ of products based on statistics such as “recycled content” alone can be, in some instances, quite misleading.

Use of recyclable materials. For most materials, the initial processing from raw ingredients requires much more energy than recycling, so there’s no doubt that the use of recyclable materials is important. Having said this, much of the ‘recycling’ that occurs today generates lower value materials as a result (see above); simply taking them “one step closer to the landfill” so this is another topic we feel needs a bit more investigation and why we are embracing the Cradle to Cradle approach to design. This asks us to look much more closely at both the core ingredients of the materials themselves and the systems of use within which they are used.

Identification of materials. It’s a pretty obvious thing to do (so we do it) but marking our parts where possible with a material identifier helps them get recycled properly once you’ve finished with them. Without them, identifying one plastic from another can be done but it’s a damn sight easier if you can read it off the part.

We are FSC® certified. Mountain View

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