The Netherlands: DMS Niaga, a subsidiary of nutrition major Royal DSM, is linking up with sustainable construction materials expert ECOR for a project focusing on the development of fully-recyclable alternatives to particleboard, MDF and other panel products used in building/construction, furniture, interior decoration and displays. ‘Looking at the piles of waste generated by the interior and construction industries, design for recycling is inevitable,’ stresses DSM.
The combination of materials and ingredients used in most products made with MDF and particleboard is ‘the biggest challenge’ for technically and economically feasible recycling, according to the companies.
Both ECOR and DSM-Niaga have been redesigning products to be fully recyclable back into the same product. In recent months, the two have explored combining each other’s technologies, with ECOR’s claimed to make materials from natural fibres using only water, pressure and heat.
DSM-Niaga manufactures products by employing a reversible adhesive that enables ‘easy decoupling of different material layers, for full recovery and high-value recycling’.
‘The concept that traditional materials like tabletops are up for incineration or disposal after their life-cycle will be eliminated,’ insists Eric Logtens, ceo of ECOR-NOBLE Environmental Benelux. ‘By combining ECOR and Niaga technologies, the core materials of products can be made from recycled content, and can be fully recycled after use.’
‘I can’t stop thinking of all the possibilities, and I hope that designers will approach us for ideas to make beautiful products and challenge us to broaden the possibilities of these technologies,’ says Chris Reutelingsperger, chief technology officer at DSM-Niaga. ‘By combining ECOR and Niaga, waste becomes a treasure.’