Design

Design for recoverability/recyclability

Designers may choose to prioritize how easy to recover and recycle their products, finding ways to account for that product will be collected and recycled after use.

Because there will be nuances across products and geographies, there are multiple things to consider when optimizing the recyclability of your product:

  • Recyclable materials
  • Limit the number of material types and composites
  • Modularity and ease of disassembly
  • Limit use of adhesives, dyes, paints and coatings (types and colors)
  • Limit or eliminate hazardous materials and contamination

It is common for manufacturers to partner with end-of-life resource management companies during the design phase to integrate the appropriate product features to facilitate end-of-life handling.

Example

DSM-Niaga Technology

Situation

  • Today’s standard carpets are made from a broad variety of different materials and glued together with latex, which makes it impossible to recycle
  • In the U.S., some 1.8 billion kg of carpet ends its life in landfill every year, making it one of the highest single contributors to the country's landfill sites.
  • The leading alternative to landfilling carpet is incineration, which requires a minimum temperature of 850° C and leads to high carbon emissions and potentially harmful dioxins.

Challenge

  • Creating 100% fully recyclable carpets that are environmentally-friendly and financially-viable.

Solution

  • The Niaga® manufacturing technology allows for carpet designers to make carpets from only one material, or from two materials married together by a reversible glue.
  • The glue can decouple on demand, to support full recovery of the two materials. Both the mono and duo material options can be 100% recycled back into new carpets, without losing the quality of the material. 
  • The Niaga® adhesive technology allows for products to be designed and made in ways that allow them to be deconstructed and remade, again and again.

Key benefits

  • DSM-Niaga technology and the reversible adhesive can be applied to other product categories manufactured from polyesters and polyamides.
  • 100% fully recyclable, Niaga machines use up to 90% less energy than mainstream lamination processes, and do not use water.
  • Indoor air quality (no VOCs/ new carpet smell), easy installation.