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Recycled Gizmos

Companies offer a host of devices - from computers to cellphones and TVs to watches - made from repurposed materials. Here are some to choose from

HP's Probook Series HP's Probook Series

HP has been actively using ocean-bound plastic in its laptops such as the HP Elite Dragonfly, EliteBook and Pavilion notebooks. While some of the materials used in these machines are recycled, HP's Probook Series has over 62 per cent of mechanical parts made from recycled metals and plastic. Even its speaker enclosure is made from 50 per cent reprocessed material. The keyboard keycaps are made from 50 per cent recycled DVDs and the keyboard deck and bottom chassis using 90 per cent recycled magnesium.

iPad Air 2020

Over the last decade, Apple's iPad has evolved as a great multipurpose device. Even though crafted using 100 per cent recycled aluminium enclosure, the iPad Air 2020, with flat edges and rounded curves, has a premium look and feel. Besides, Apple has also used 100 per cent recycled tin for the solder (a metal alloy used to join different metals together) on its main logic board. The powerful tablet packs in a 10.9-inch bright display, ideal for both work and fun. There's also the intuitive touch interface and Apple pencil support. Not to forget, the loudspeakers also use magnets with 100 per cent recycled rare earth elements.

iPhone 12 Series

Thanks to their constant upgrade cycles, smartphones add a lot to the country's e-waste. But, surprisingly, there aren't many smartphone makers who put recycled materials to use. For most companies, the process usually begins with the sourcing of primary materials. The iPhone 12 series, for instance, uses a lot of 100 per cent recycled rare earth elements, tungsten, plastic and tin. Sample this - 100 per cent recycled tungsten is used in the Taptic Engine (Apple's own vibration motor), which is 99 per cent of the total tungsten used in the device. The company also uses 100 per cent recycled rare earth elements in all magnets used in iPhone 12 series, over 35 per cent recycled plastic in 14 components and 100 per cent recycled tin in the solder of the main logic board. Apart from Apple, there is Fairphone 3+, manufactured by China-based Hi-P International, which has 40 per cent recycled plastic in the phone and modules.

Apple Watch Series 6

They are the new fad, and help in achieving fitness goals. A few manufacturers use recycled materials. For instance, the case of Apple Watch Series 6 on aluminium models is recycled. Similar to iPhone 12, it uses 100 per cent recycled rare earth elements in the Taptic Engine, and nearly 100 per cent recycled tungsten in the product. While rival Fitbit does not use recycled material in its trackers, there are REPREVE bands (made by US firm Unifi), which use recycled plastic fibres.

Sony BRAVIA X80J

Sony has reduced the use of non-renewable resources by developing SORPLAS (Sustainable Oriented Recycled Plastic). It is made from blending recycled and waste plastics, such as from optical discs and water bottles, along with Sonys sulfur-based flame retardant, which allows the use of up to 99 per cent recycled material. Using a combination of structural strength and flame retardancy that SORPLAS offers, various parts of the Bravia X80J series, from the rear cover to external components, are made using recycled wastes.

Sony HT-ST5000

To reduce the consumption of virgin plastic, Sony has developed recycled plastics for a broad range of product categories by elevating the quality and reducing manufacturing costs. Sony HT-ST5000 Home Theatre uses recycled plastic for audio products the company claims can improve sound quality while retaining a high percentage of recycled content.

Google Nest Mini

Google, too, is doing its bit to contribute to the environment. Its Nest Mini speaker has a durable fabric top made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles. UK's House of Marley is going big on recycled materials as well. It uses recyclable aluminium, significantly reducing the amount of the material entering the waste stream for headphone housings and ear cups. Even the company's REGRIND Silicone is a specially created material made by reclaiming and upcycling post-process and post-consumer waste. Headband pads, ear cushions are all partially constructed from REGRIND Silicone.

Signify, earlier known as Philips Lighting, recently introduced tailored 3D printed light fixtures in India. Custom-designed at Signify's design lab in Noida, the luminaries are highly flexible and more sustainable, and are printed using 100 per cent recyclable polycarbonate materials such as CDs. They are manufactured in the company's plant in Vadodara.

Recycled Packaging

To lure sustainable-minded consumers and cut down on expenses, brands are turning to recycledpackaging

With more and more companies taking steps to reduce waste, sustainable packaging has taken off in a big way in recent times.

For instance, Lenovo has been focusing on lighter packaging design since 2008, and has helped eliminate more than 3,100 tonnes of packaging by weight. It uses bio-based packaging made from bamboo and sugarcane fibre, which is 100 per cent biodegradable. HP is also reducing paper and cardboard use, and replacing expanded polystyrene packing cushions - the white foam that protects PCs, laptops, and printers in transit - with recyclable, molded paper pulp, amongst others. In 2019, HP eliminated 933 tonnes of hard-to-recycle expanded plastic foam from its product packaging by shipping more than 6.8 million units in moulded fibre packaging.

Even 100 per cent of the virgin wood fibre used in Apple's packaging is made from fibre-based materials. It includes the fibre-based screen cover that protects the display, which, for the first time, has replaced the standard plastic film. Dell has been using renewable materials, including bamboo, recycled paper pulp, 100 per cent recycled plastic and ocean-bound plastic in packaging. While using recycled material is good, brands are encouraging users not to throw away the packaging, but use it to store things. For instance, Amazon India packaging boxes made of 100 per cent recycled content are fully recyclable, yet the company is asking customers to reuse the boxes. Xiaomi has adopted an innovative idea with the Redmi smart TV packaging, where users can convert the TV box into a usable MiBunny storage unit.