BT Circular Economy

As part of its collaboration with the Ellen McArthur Foundation and its Circular Economy initiative, BT commissioned The Design Unit to undertake a detailed investigation into the implications of using 100% recycled ABS within its consumer products.

The Design Unit established that the main issues impacting on the design of new products using this 100% recycled material was an inability to colour, the tendency to see slight inclusions/imperfections on the surface of moulded products and to some degree strength (although the yield point of virgin and 100% are similar, elongation to break is much less with 100% recycled material).

To counter this The Design Unit developed a low cost CAD approach to applying three dimensional machined textures to tooling that would scatter light, obscuring surface imperfections in the moulded product. In addition a new approach to clipping mouldings together was also developed, which not only catered for the elongation to break issues but 'designed out' the need for fixing screws, vastly improving ease of disassembly at end of life.