Your kitchen may not be the first place you go to examine how you can live a greener lifestyle, but Electrolux is looking to change that. The Swedish home appliances maker created a refrigerator prototype that depends upon bioplastics from renewable sources. Given that these plastics have an 80 percent lower carbon footprint when compared to conventional plastics found in most refrigerators, that is some serious Earth-saving you’re doing.
The prototype claims to be the first refrigerator in the world to be made of bioplastic and heralds a new Electrolux strategy of creating more sustainable home appliances. The production of this fridge, however, and its components, did not happen overnight. The Electrolux Global Connectivity and Technology Center has spent the last “several years” testing how bioplastics might be integrated into company products and packaging. Thanks to a partnership with NatureWorks, a biopolymers firm, Electrolux has succeeded in producing its first major appliance with a significantly lower carbon footprint.
“We are very excited and proud to have developed the world’s first bioplastic concept fridge, which is truly groundbreaking. Our ambition is to develop even more innovative, sustainable home appliances that we might see on the market in the future,” Electrolux Chief Operations Officer Jan Brockmann said in a statement.
The plastic used in the refrigerator is derived from renewable resources like corn and sugarcane (whereas traditional plastics are oil-based), and are recyclable. Already, Electrolux has committed to using post-consumer recycled plastics, using materials like Carborec, a plastic based on recycled polypropylene that promises to extend the lifetime of plastic (though this plastic is still made from non-renewable resources).
“Sustainability is part of the Electrolux business strategy and we are dedicated to innovate for more sustainable products and to reduce our carbon footprint. This prototype is unique and helps us deliver on our purpose to shape living for the better,” Electrolux’s Vice President in Sustainability Henrik Sundström said
Getting your hands on one of these new refrigerators could prove to be something of a challenge. The fridge is still in development and the company has not yet set a timeline for public launch. But once we have timing and pricing information available, we will be sure to update this story.