The Circular Economy
The Earth has a finite amount of natural resources that can be used to satisfy demand. At Elkay we are taking the lead and beginning our first steps in adopting a circular economy principle which if done properly could give the UK and European union up to €1.8trillion in net economic benefits by 2030. (source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
A Circular Economy is an economic system where products and services are traded in closed loops or cycles with the sole aim to retain as much value as possible of products parts and materials. This allows for the long life, optimised re use, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling of materials.
So how can Elkay get things started. Well, we are;
Firstly, removing all plastic packaging by mid-2022 in favour of recycled cardboard for our packaging and recycled paper for our instruction leaflets. We will ensure all our catalogues and POS materials can be recycled when they reach end of life.
Secondly, we plan to offer spares in our spares shop to enable the repair of our products and to extend the product life optimising our products. We have already started with our ABS and polycarbonate replacements available for sale on our website so that products can be repaired rather than replaced.
Thirdly, we design and manufacture true fit and forget products first and foremost and we design with the long term in mind. Our products are for the long term and we already give 6-year warranties and we are working to make our products give a design life of 25 years and beyond by offering parts and eventually PCB and component replacements.
In the future we will look at closing the loop and taking back used products to recover the value in materials and to design with modularity where possible and we will choose smart materials and embedded intelligence so we can learn more from our products in their daily use to help create better designs.
We know this is a small step but at least we are prepared to take that step.