An important component of the TRANSFORM-CE project is understanding the business context for creating a circular economy for single use plastic waste. To achieve this, several case studies are in the process of being completed with exemplary examples, benchmarking existing circular economy business models, and paving the way forward for wider uptake across the North-west Europe region. One such company is 10XL in the Netherlands.
10XL is a manufacturer of large format products up to 6 metres made from recycled plastic waste. Examples include but are not limited to furniture, sloops, and bridges. 10XL manufactures products using hybrid manufacturing, combining complementary additive and subtractive processes. First, thick layers are 3D-printed (additive manufacturing) and then a second robot arm is used to smoothen the outside of the printed product and make it more accurately (subtractive manufacturing). Tape placements or fibre-reinforcement may then be used to strengthen the final product, depending on requirements.
The recycled plastics used in 10XL’s products are derived from a range of sources, including post-industrial and post-consumer wastes purchased from recyclers, used products taken back at end-of-life, and reclaimed waste materials from 10XL’s production processes.
The company also employs a number of circular design strategies. The first is ‘design for recycling’, whereby 10XL makes every effort to avoid incorporating unnecessary additives, instead sourcing recycled materials with the required properties. They also support future recycling of their products by including a ‘material passport’ documenting the constituent materials of each piece. 10XL also supports ‘design for disassembly’, as their products are typically made from a single material, with additional components, such as motors or furnishings, able to be separated easily prior to recycling. Finally, the company also incorporates ‘design for durability and performance’, whereby the recyclability of its materials and products must be balanced against use requirements. As such, 10XL makes durability and performance a key criteria when selecting recycled materials. By adopting these strategies, the company has established a circular business model, demonstrating the value of plastic waste if reclaimed and recycled into new products.
Inspired by this case study? Apply to be a part of TRANSFORM CE and access support for adopting recycled single use plastics to achieve your own circular business model.