Rethinking plastic waste
Here at Fairphone, we envision a circular economy, where resources are used and reused in an infinite loop. So we’re examining every step of our phone’s life cycle and finding ways to make improvements. Sometimes the best ideas require you to think outside the box and that’s exactly what we did when looking for a solution to recycle our Fairphone 2 slim cases.
So what did we come up with for all the plastic cases you sent us for recycling?
Local, cost-effective, plastic reuse and recycling? vanPlestik!
Step 1: Teaming up with the good folks of vanPlestik. This Amsterdam based upcycling startup uses plastic waste as raw material for their 3D printers, turning would-be-waste into high-quality objects. They were the perfect allies to give new life to our phone covers. Together, we want to show the world that plastic can be more than just a disposable material.
Step 2: vanPlestik used their 3D printing techniques to create furniture for our office, giving our old cases a new life…and function. We’re excited to present the results.
Step 3: Closing the loop and using the upcycled furniture in our office. Let us take you on a recycling journey – From 3700 plastic slim cases gathered for recycling, to 73kg worth of raw materials, to some great upcycled conversation starters for our office and events.
For an in-depth look and a “behind the scenes” video of our collaboration, have a look at our upcycling project blogpost.
Step by step recycling journey
The concept: local, cost-effective, plastic reuse and recycling.
The raw material: 3700 Fairphone 2 slim cases…
… or 73kg of plastic waste: Shredded and ready for the printer.
3D printing “magic”: Layer by layer the new objects are created.
The result: Furniture for our office, like these upcycled “Delta” stools.
And finally: Closing the loop during a morning meeting at our headquarters in Amsterdam.
We hope that one day, the amount of recycled material becomes a topic to consider in the process of a consumer buying a product. Whether it’s a smartphone, toaster or washing machine. To make this happen, we have to lead by example. We believe that the best way to change the industry is to be a part of it. By making phones, we’re establishing a market for fairer electronics, opening up the supply chain, creating a positive impact and building new relationships between people and their products.
As with everything else we’re pursuing when it comes to fair electronics, the end result is better when we do it together. Maybe you own one of the 1.6 billion unused phones shoved into the far corners of drawers and closets? These forgotten mobile phones are packed with valuable materials that can be used again and again: