Philips - A circular vacuum cleaner
Dutch consumer electronics company Philips has developed its first vacuum cleaner in a closed loop recycling system, the Performer Ultimate FC8955. Circular economy thinking has resulted in recycled materials becoming an integral part of Philips product design and this is the first vacuum cleaner that is specifically designed for using recycled plastics.
Old Philips vacuum cleaners are collected in western Europe and recycled by its partner Coolrec. Another partner, Veolia, mixes the plastics from the recycled vacuum cleaners with other recycled plastics to create a new high quality recycled plastics grade that is used by Philips’ factory in Poland to produce the new Performer Ultimate. By co-creating with recyclers and suppliers of recycled materials, Philips is using its combined expertise to improve the quality of materials.
Consumers often store vacuum cleaner in garages where temperatures can come close to 0 degrees Celsius. This creates an enormous challenge for Philips’ suppliers as they need to create a recycled plastic that can withstand an impact test at zero degrees, which is difficult to achieve even with virgin plastics. By separately recycling Philips vacuum cleaners, the companygets access to a recycled plastic of which it is certain that it can withstand the critical impact tests at zero degrees.
Cooperation in a supply chain
Building this new supply chain in cooperation with Coolrec and Veolia required a closed cooperation between all parties that was built on mutual trust and a willingness to succeed. Besides having a great cleaning performance, the Philips Performer Ultimate uses high amounts of recycled plastics amounting to a total of 1.38 kg of recycled plastics per product. The recycled plastics are used in 5 black parts of which the upper and lower housing of the vacuum cleaner are the biggest parts. The introduction of recycled plastics in the Performer Ultimate is part of Philips’ Circular Economy ambition to introduce recycled plastics in as many products as possible. The recycled plastic used is a 95% post-consumer recycled polypropylene.
The Best Practices
Holland Circular Hotspot (HCH) wants to support international cooperation on the circular economy, with the aim of creating business opportunities and promoting the exchange of knowledge and innovation. In the magazine Circular Is Going Global - Join Holland's Flow you can read which circular best practices the Netherlands has to offer.