Philips puts a touch of circular into its products

Posted on 05 September 2017.

Philips is working with Veolia to design home appliances that are more environmentally friendly.

By 2020, Philips expects 15% of its turnover to come from "circular products".

In 2011, Philips launched "SENSEO Viva Cafe Eco" a pod coffee machine with a conventional design and functionality but with one particularity: it was the first coffee machine made from recycled materials.
The machine is made of 50% recycled plastic (waste from the production of CDs and DVDs for the lid, for example), the stainless-steel elements contain 45% recycled metal, and the packaging is made from 90% recycled cardboard. At the time, Philips wrote in Viva's user manual, "This coffee machine is one of our best sustainable products in this area."

15% of circular products

Philips committed to making its products and services more environmentally friendly in its sustainable development program, "Healthy populations and a sustainable planet". In particular, the Dutch company wants to eco-design its products and services  with a focus on circularity.
By 2020, it plans for 70% of its turnover to come from "green" products and 15% from "circular products". For this, Philips has decided to increase the proportion of recycled materials used in production
However, replacing virgin plastic with recycled plastic in an iron is not as simple as it sounds... Firstly, because recycled plastic must meet precise technical specifications and secondly because it is available in varying quantities and qualities and can present impurities which manufacturers and consumers are not accustomed to. This is where Veolia comes in.

A vacuum cleaner made with recycled battery shells

The cooperation between Philips and Veolia began in 2010 with the development of a new kind of vacuum cleaner. At that time, Veolia developed a material from recycled battery shells. Today, after several generations of cleaning appliances made from waste plastic, the Philips green vacuum cleaners contain between 25 and 47% recycled polypropylene.
In the Netherlands, Veolia is involved very early on in the manufacturing process, right from the design stage. Its role is to help Philips integrate as much recycled plastic as possible, in this case polypropylene, into its vacuum cleaners, to supply it with a material the properties of which meet its requirements and to ensure a regular (in quantity) and constant (in quality) supply.
As a result of this durable partnership, Philips and Veolia are currently studying the possibility of using plastic from the manufacturer's end-of-life appliances to produce recycled plastic. One step closer to "closing the loop"...