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Today, too many products cannot be recycled because they are too difficult or expensive to take apart. To create a circular economy, we need to start with design and material selection: choosing recyclable materials and designing products in a way that makes them easy to send back into the loop.

The good news is that you can design for recycling already at the drawing board.

Vase No. 8 - Sara Mellone

Three things you should know about sustainable design   

1. Material selection: Understand how to choose a sustainable material

A sustainable material can be recycled. Assess the carbon footprint from a life-cycle point of view. How much of the material is required compared to another material to obtain the same effect, such as strength? How long will the product last and what is the maintenance required?

2. Design for
recycling: easy repair and reuse 

Consider the repair – and reuse – of the product. Can it be repaired? By whom? Can you use the product or its materials again?

3. Production: Know how to assemble the product 

Similar materials do not need to be separated, hence improving the recycling rate. For mixed-material combinations, mechanical fasteners such as bolts, screws, snap-fit and interlock joints make it easy to disassemble and recycle the product when it is no longer in use.


Interested in learning more? To learn more about designing with aluminium, please let us know and we will put you in contact with one of our experts.

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Hydro EcoDesign Aluminum design