In the past the plastics from the recycled electronics have been turned into lower grade plastics and used in the making of other materials. Now, for the first time these plastics are being used by Dell in the construction of new computers.
In July 2014Dell unveiled the OptiPlex 3030 all-in-one unit. Unlike the other all-in-one computers on the market this particular unit was made out of recycled plastics from other recycle electronics. This process took the old plastics and turned them into new product, rather than just continuing on the same e-waste cycle.
The typical e-waste cycle would see old computers sold to countries like China and used in products like decking materials and plastic patio furniture. This process is called “closed-loop” recycling. Dell was looking for other ways to reuse these products within the products that they create. The reason why closed-loop recycling is important is because none of the plastics go to waste, or fill up e-waste facilities.
Dell’s OptiPlex 3030 is made up of 35% recycled plastic in the back of the monitor and the stand. While the number seems low, this is a very encouraging start according to the report from ElectronicsTakeBack.com. This is only the beginning for Dell, as they are planning on adding recycled plastics to their other products, which you might already see on the market.
One of Dell’s reasons behind the concept is their commitment to the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility. What this is, is a manufacturer should be responsible for the complete lifecycle of a product. As the reportindicates, this is a big move from a big company and other electronic manufacturers should take note. It is very encouraging to see Dell stay committed to this process.
Learn more about responsible electronics recycling.