SENSEO
Original goes the extra mile to use recycled plastics

Since 2010 Philips has actively been working on introducing recycled plastics in its product portfolio. After successes in Garment Care and Floor Care it was time to focus on the SENSEO product range.

We had already proven that we could use recycled plastics in SENSEO coffee machines but we never managed to introduce it into the SENSEO Original as its parts were not designed for recycled plastics.  We’ve put the challenge to our engineers and suppliers; can we introduce recycled plastics into our most sold SENSEO coffee machine without changing the parts?

 

The biggest opportunities for recycled plastics were found in the baseplate of the SENSEO Original, as this is a black part and does not come into contact with food it is well suited for recycled plastics. There were three main challenges that we needed to overcome.

 

First of all, aroma is an essential part of the coffee making process so we had to make sure that the recycled plastics could not generate any negative smell experience which is often a challenge for recycled plastics. Secondly, a good cup of coffee is a hot cup of coffee so the recycled plastics needed to withstand challenging heat resistance requirements. Thirdly we needed to make sure that the recycled plastics baseplate looked as good as the existing part.  

 

So how did we overcome these challenges? First our teams critically reviewed our technical specifications to determine what was really required from recycled plastics. Once these exact specifications were determined we involved our suppliers to find a grade that met these requirements. After a thorough test of all materials in our labs we selected Veolia to compound the final grade of recycled PP that is used in SENSEO Original. The recycled PP is based on the grade in which 30% of the recycled plastics is made from old Philips vacuum cleaners that were separately recycled by our partner Coolrec.

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So what is the end result? We have managed to change the baseplate of SENSEO Original to a 95% post-consumer recycled PP without making any compromise to quality, esthetics and smell. Combined with one other small part a total of 160 grams recycled plastics is used in every SENSEO Original which is just under 16% of the total plastic weight.

And that is not all, SENSEO original also performs well on other environmental aspects. For instance it will automatically shut off after 30 minutes standby to reduce energy consumption. The packaging is made of 90% recycled cardboard and PVC has been phased out from all internal wiring. Furthermore Senseo Original has been tested during the development process for more than 10.000 cups of coffee. This ensures high quality and durability.

 

For more details on the environmental specifications of Senseo Original please have a look at the Eco passport.

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