Tag Archives: Product Design

Recycled plastics in electronics: from individual pilots to industry collaboration

Ten companies in the electronics sectors, together with the two trade associations Digital Europe and CECED, gathered in September for a two days’ workshop.  Goal of this workshop was to formulate concrete projects to use more recycled plastics in electronic appliances. All parties agree that the market for recycled plastics will get a boost when electronics producers increase the use of these plastics in their products. Industry collaboration can help speed up this development. The workshop in Brussels boosted this cooperation. 

“We already have projects on recycled plastics. We started back in 2010 by introducing more and more recycled plastics” Eelco Smit, sustainability manager of Philips explains. “Now we want to take this to the next level. We are too small to make a big change ourselves: we can only make a change if we get critical mass.”The collaborative workshop, bringing together several electronics producers, electronic collectors, virgin producers and recyclers, gives companies the opportunity to learn from each other and work together to achieve industry wide collaboration. [1]

Different material properties

Why are recycled plastics not reused for new electronics yet? Often this is related to the material properties of the recycled material. These are not the same as the properties of virgin material. This means electronic producers need to test all recycled materials for all different product groups – a time consuming process. In addition, the designers working for brand owners do not always know how to design with recycled materials. And even if they do have this knowledge, high quality recycled materials are not always available in large quantities. The bigger electronics brands such as BSH (Bosch Siemens) and Philips prefer to work with large suppliers. Recyclers, on the other hand, face the challenge to produce a high quality and high value material at a competitive price. This involves large investments in machines needed to separate the different plastics from each other. The recyclers deal with a mixed materials supply stream, as many product types (e.g. washing machines together with tumble dryers, dishwashers, cookers, etc) are collected together.

What’s next?

During the workshop participants shared their knowledge, evaluated their supply chains and created new ideas how to make this more circular. Subsequently, they worked together on solutions for the current challenges. This resulted in five project proposals. A group of workshop participants agreed to work on an educational tool “Design for Recycling” in order for designers to get more in-depth knowledge on working with different recycled materials. Another group worked on a project proposal related to standardization of recycled plastics, whereas another group focused on improving the collection and recycling of filled PP(polypropylene) from washing machines. The participants will be invited again to follow up on the progress in the projects. One thing is clear: all parties are highly motivated to close the plastics loop. As Gisela Lehner from Borealis stated: “Plastics is too valuable to throw away, we want to be part of the second life of plastics.” To be continued…

More information? contact Marjolein van Gelder or Ingeborg Gort.

[1] Present at the workshop were CECED, Digital Europe, Ricoh, Technicolor, Philips, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, Eco-systèmes, Recupel, Coolrec, MBA Polymers, Urban Mining Corp and  Borealis.

Guidelines Designing with Recycled Plastics

We are proud to present our new Guidelines for Designing with Recycled Plastics.

In this Guidelines Designing with Recycled Plastics, the most important tips and tricks are shared, for the application of recycled plastic in (high-end) injection moulding products. The Guidelines are the result of a chain project for the Dutch Plastics Industry Association initiated by Philips and Partners for Innovation. The idea for this project started in the working group ‘Recyclate and Product Design’ of the Dutch Plastic Value Chain Agreement.

Six showcases for inspiration 
In the Caseguide Designing with Recycled Plastics, six leading companies from Dutch Industry share their experiences with the application of recycled plastics. Every case is linked to a video (in English). “By sharing this informatie with designers, Research &Development staff, suppliers and plastic converters, we hope to inspire the rest of the market to use more recycled plastics in high-end products“, says Ingeborg Gort-Duurkoop, advisor Sustainable Innovations at Partners for Innovation.

The Guidelines Design is an MJA3 project supported by Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO Nederland) and The Dutch Federation of Rubber and Plastics Industry (NRK), in cooperation with Philips and developed by Partners for Innovation.

Download: Guidelines for Designing with Recycled Plastics

Caseguide Designing with Recycled Plastics




Register now for DRIVE Festival, The annual Design Research & Innovation Festival for designers, researchers, and their colleagues working in business and industry, government and the Top Sectors as part of the Dutch Design Week.

Be there for our CROSS-OVER and CIRCULAR ECONOMY programme, with almost 50 presentations and interactive sessions. Get ready to be updated on state of the art research for innovation and join in the discussion! DRIVE is in English.

Wednesday 21 October – 10:00-17.00  CROSS-OVERS
Meet professors on meaningful connectedness, get introduced to Design Innovations for Health and Energy, discover Ultra Personalized Products and Services, meet with design strategists of Kone and Philips, learn more about new design tools and business models and explore the CLICKNL programmes on Cross-overs.

Thursday 22 October – 10:00-17:00  CIRCULAR ECONOMY 
Creating business through circular design: Is it true that designers are the real game changers in the development towards a circular economy? Business models, design strategies, workshops and inspiring highlights from the IOP-IPCR research programme and applied research projects on sustainability, as well as results from the CLICKNL | DESIGN CIRCO project pass in review.

Check out our full programme!

DRIVE participant fees:
One day: € 75 (incl. VAT), two days: € 125 (incl. VAT).
This fee covers entrance to the DRIVE festival including coffee, tea, lunch and drinks, as well as a ticket to the Dutch Design Week and Mind the step exhibition.


Design Class: Business Models for Circular Design

Designers can make a significant contribution to the circular economy. It all starts with the right business model and development of a plan that works that matches the strategy of the company.

That was the main outcome of the CIRCO Circular Design Class that took place on April 21 at the TU Delft. In this one day course the principles and practical application of circular design were taught to designers from different sectors. Siem Haffmans was one of the trainers.  

Designing a circular product is just one step in the process. As most designers were not familiar with the business models, they gained new and practical insights into their role as a designer in developing circular products, how to connect these to services and how to include this in a business model.

Sign up for the next Design Class

  • The next workshop will take place on June 23rd. 
  • Another will follow in september (date to be decided).  

For both workshop there are still some places available.


More info:

Circular Design Class: for Designers that Last

Are you curious about the circular economy and what your role as a designer will be in a circular world? Would you like to apply circular design principles in your work, but does putting them into practice seem difficult? If so, we would like to invite you to participate in the Circular Design Class!

During this one day course you will be taught the principles of circular design, practice their practical application and gain insight into your role as a designer in developing circular products and services. 

Organisation: Circle Economy, ClickNL, Partners for Innovation, TU Delft

More info:

Design Guidelines for Applying Plastic Recyclate

Graduate intern Abel Gerrits supports Partners for Innovation in the development of design guidelines to make knowledge concerning plastic recyclate in high-end injection moulded products widely and easily accessible.

During the project frontrunners (amongst which Philips, Curver and Schoeller Allibert) from different industries will cooperate and state-of-the-art knowledge will be used to raise awareness and understanding. This way other parties will become informed and inspired to apply post-consumer plastic recyclate in their injection moulded products.

The project is part of Abel’s thesis for the master study Industrial Design Engineering at the University of Twente. After finishing his bachelor degree in Industrial Design at the University of Twente, Abel focused in the master phase on Management of Product Development.

The new design guidelines for Applying Plastic Recyclate will be made available online.

Camila Fix joins the team as Associated Expert Brazil

This Spring, Camila Fix, product designer from Brazil, joined Partners for Innovation as Associated Expert. Camila has over 12 years of experience in design, marketing and new business development in Brazil and The Netherlands.

She worked for different design studios including Indio da Costa A.U.D.T. With her design consultancy Fix Design, she initiated and executed many successful product innovations, some of which were included in Spoon, edited by Phaidon. Spoon is a global overview of contemporary industrial design presenting the work of 100 designers who have emerged on the international design scene.

More info:

Camila Fix

Associated Expert Brasil

Camila Fix supports companies to realize sustainable product innovations, with her expertise in design, marketing and innovation management.

Design | Marketing | Innovation Management | New Business Development

Camila Fix has over 12 years of experience in design, marketing and new business development in Brazil. She worked for different design studios, including Indio da Costa A.U.D.T.

With her own design consultancy Fix Design, she initiated and executed many successful product innovations, some of which were included in Spoon, edited by Phaidon. Spoon is a global overview of contemporary industrial design presenting the work of 100 designers who have emerged on the international design scene.

Arquitetura e Urbanismo Mackenzie, Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) | Fundação Getulio Vargas, Marketing | Stanford University, Managing Innovation | Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, Netherlands, Post Graduation, Industrial and Product Design

m +31 (0)6 84 060 704
m +55 (11) 991 011 919
e c.fix@partnersforinnovation.com

LinkedIn Camilla Fix



3 Sustainable Plastic Products

Three Dutch plastics manufacturers developed three new sustainable plastic products that are less harmful to the environment: Oerlemans Plastics, Timmerije and Schoeller Arca Systems.

The products are developed under the project ‘Durable Plastic Products’, part of the Long-term agreement on energy efficiency (LTA). The product innovations were presented in June 2012.

  • Reduce food waste: Oerlemans Plastics worked with its customer Beko Packaging to develop smarter bread packaging to reduce bread waste at consumer level;
  • Replacement of harmful substances: Timmerije and her client Vanderlande Industries researched alternative materials for plastic parts of the Crossorter, an energy efficient distribution conveyor;
  • Material and energy reduction: Schoeller Arca Systems designed together with one of its FMCG clients a smart plastic logistics system for delivery to supermarkets.

Partners for Innovation guided the project. NL Agency acted as financier. The Dutch Rubber and Plastic Industry (NRK) was responsible for the coordination with the companies.

More info?