Paris, France – The Groupe SEB, Veolia and Eco-systèmes are developing first partnership which creates a complete circular economy cycle for small household appliances: The waste collected by Eco-systèmes is recovered by Veolia as recycled raw material, which is then used by Groupe SEB to manufacture new appliances sold in stores. The first concrete application is a steam generator.
The waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) collected by Eco-systèmes is sorted and recovered as recycled raw materials by Veolia on its site in Angers, which processes 45,000 metric tons of small appliances (irons, kettles, etc.) a year. The recycled plastic is sent to Groupe SEB’s plastics plant in Saint-Jean-de-Bournay (Isère) to produce the steam generator case.
This circular economy cycle results from true co-construction. At the beginning of the project, Groupe SEB and Veolia shared their expertise in terms of research and innovation. Veolia then adjusted the characteristics of its recycled plastic material to achieve a material quality similar to that of the virgin material and comply with Groupe SEB’s requirements. Veolia also optimized the flow of the recycled raw material supplied to Groupe SEB’s production plant in order to guarantee regular and durable infeed for the appliance manufacturing circuit. Groupe SEB has adjusted its product manufacturing process to take account of the recycled raw material. Finally Eco-systèmes was also involved in the assessment of the environmental impact of the use of recycled plastic in the SEB steam generator.
“Our partnership with Groupe SEB and Eco-systèmes is a perfect example of a complete circular economy loop. For the first time, we are involved in the design and manufacturing process of a small household appliance,” says Bernard Harambillet, CEO of Veolia’s waste recycling & recovery business in France. “Our goal is to achieve large-scale growth for this business model, which replaces virgin material with recycled raw material in industrial manufacturing processes while complying wit quality, quantity and cost requirements.”
The Veolia WEEE sorting and recovery facility in Angers is one of the most efficient in France. Of the 55,000 metric tons of WEEE delivered to the center each year, it recycles 94 percent of refrigerator and freezer components, 91 percent of small appliance (kettles, hair-dryers, etc.) components and 88 percent of screen components. Veolia’s Angers center avoids the emission of 70,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent a year.
Source: Veolia Group