A move to bioplastics: Electrolux’s eco-friendly fridge


It’s not that long ago that the CFCs in fridges were among the worse offenders damaging the environment. Which is what makes it interesting that, in an era where we’re acutely conscious of the damage widespread use of plastics is doing to the planet, Electrolux has just unveiled the world’s first bioplastic concept fridge.

The company has developed a fridge prototype with all visible plastic parts made using plastics from renewable sources. And it said that the bioplastic for the product has a more than 80% lower carbon footprint compared to the conventional plastics used today.

Although it currently exists only as a prototype, it’s still being touted as a big part of the Electrolux strategy to create more sustainable home appliances.

So where do the bioplastics come from? Electrolux said it’s using materials like corn and sugarcane and  the bioplastics used are recyclable. And it claims that the material has 80% lower CO2 equivalent emissions compared to the conventional plastic used in current fridges.

What we don’t know, of course, is whether this product will actually make it onto the market, or if it does, when that might happen and whether the bioplastic content might be less than in the prototype.

There’s no set timescale for when this might launch, but Electrolux has been working on it for several years so we assume the goal is to commercialise, especially in the current environment where younger consumers seeking to fill up their new homes are increasingly looking for eco-conscious alternatives.

And it’s not the only company looking at materials like this. Just last month, toy giant Lego also said that some of its pieces would be made from plant-based plastic also sourced from sugarcane, with the debut due this year.

At launch, the pieces will be limited to ‘botanical’ items such as trees and leaves, but the longer term goal is to use plant sources for all of its hugely popular bricks.

Again, it’s a development that’s set to appeal enormously to those eco-conscious Millennial parents buying Lego for their young kids. And it would certainly help to justify Lego’s $1bn investment in its Sustainable Materials Centre in Denmark that it announced a few years ago.


Interested in a post-plastic era? Read up on Redesigning a Post-plastic World on WGSN.

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