Designing for new life: The 90% recyclable prototype vac is here

2021-07-02

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Today during the Circular Initiative 2021 the "2-Infinity" prototype vacuum cleaner will be unveiled by Electrolux in partnership with Stena Recycling. The appliance is close to being fully recyclable, to a level of 90% compared to around 75% for a regular vacuum cleaner on the market. As a next step a small pre-series of up to 300 appliances will be evaluated for production.

The 2-Infinity is the second prototype developed within the partnership. The first prototype was made from 100% recycled materials and reused components, and it was unveiled in October 2020.

By being designed to be highly recyclable at its end-of-life, the vacuum cleaner promotes the circular use of resources by making it as easy as possible to recover and recycle its various components and materials.

The 2-Infinity project: a circular collaboration

The project is a partnership with Electrolux to learn how they can design products in a more circular way so that the products are first of all built with recycled materials in mind as well as easier to recycle.

"The development of 2-Infinity has given us opportunities to exchange knowledge with expert partners and gain insight into how we can create and produce even more sustainable products globally," says Martin Hedström, Head of Insights & Innovation at Electrolux.

The next stage of the project aims to evaluate the potential of a small pre-series of up to 300 recyclable vacuum cleaners based on the concept prototype. The idea is to produce the recyclable cleaners with only recycled post-consumer plastics coming from the Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), the waste flow in which most of Electrolux’ products end up at end of life, to close the loop.

The 2-Infinity project is aligned with Electrolux’ promise to offer "Circular products and business solutions", part of their For the Better 2030 sustainability framework.

"There is a tremendous shift in consumer expectations on companies to show progress and conviction in areas concerning sustainability, which requires significant innovation," Martin Hedström continues.

"We started this collaboration with Electrolux because we believe that together we can move further in creating circular flows of products, components and materials. The 2-Infinity prototype vacuum cleaner is our proof of concept that it works in real life, and not only on the drawing board.  Recyclable products made from recycled materials are an absolute necessity in the circular economy," says Mattias Nilsson, Head of Sales and Marketing, Stena Recycling, Sweden.

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