Sometimes scrutinised for making a product focused on waste reduction out of fully recyclable virgin polypropylene – NZ company Method have found success following their considered design process that ensures a long term focus is maintained. The organisation recently announced that the black components of their bins now include at least 50 per cent recycled materials, which is more impactful than it may seem.
Method design and manufacture good-looking recycling bins for the modern workplace. Starting in Wellington, they now sell their bins around the world. Helping some of the worlds most influential organisations to recycle more, and waste less.
At its core, Method believes in facilitating the circular economy, and the introduction of 50 per cent recycled content is a small but important step in the organisation’s journey.
Introducing recycled content isn’t as easy as often perceived, recycled materials are highly varied by nature; the process was undertaken with great consideration to ensure their durability, life-span and the high-quality finish of the product isn’t reduced. Method’s in house sustainability and research and design (R+D) teams have been working continuously to find a material of consistent quality and sufficient supply that is able to be used in the manufacturing process of their signature bins.
Further, Method made it a top priority to ensure that when incorporating recycled materials the bins are still fully recyclable at the end of their lives, and the materials are able to be used at the same level, otherwise, the process is only effective in the short-term. This is due to the fact that often products made from recycled materials they can not be recycled again, only delaying their fate in a landfill.
This means that Method’s bins are still as good looking and durable with the recycled content, as they were when made from virgin materials; and importantly at the end of their lives, they can be completely recycled and made into new bins. Capturing recyclables and incorporating them in such a way that they can be recycled indefinitely. This is the circular economy in action.
Further, the considered integration of recycled materials into Method’s bins is evidence that manufacturers have the ability to collect and reuse recyclables to make a real difference. Particularly in Method’s case, it is a powerful message to see the recyclables the bins collect transformed into new bins.
Co-founder Steven Korner has found great excitement seeing this journey reaching its first significant milestone,
“Seeing this come to life is truly exciting. Even more so, seeing the recycling infrastructure we are a part of capturing resources for the development of our own products.”
Pictured is a stock of infant formula lids that have been recycled into the latest production run of Method’s bins. While Method is ecstatic about the introduction of recycled materials they believe this is just the first step; Method are currently working on a solution that means their bins can be sustainably made from 100 per cent recycled materials. There are exciting developments happening in New Zealand around post-consumer recycled polypropylene and they hope to announce further information on that in the future once infrastructure and supply are ratified.