Making home energy solutions from recycled plastic

Friday, 14 January, 2022 | Supplied by: Schneider Electric

Home energy solutions made from ocean plastics have recently been unveiled by Schneider Electric.

The Merten range of sockets and switches made from recycled ocean material are also delivered in sustainable packaging, eliminating non-recyclable material, and empowering customers to take one step closer to achieving net zero goals.

Schneider Electric’s Merten range includes new models made from polyamide fishing nets collected from the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.

Abandoned or lost fishing equipment makes up around 10% of the plastic waste in the world’s oceans. The Merten ocean plastic models contribute to reducing the 640,000 tonnes of fishing nets left in the ocean each year.

Schneider Electric partnered with DSM, a global leader in health, nutrition and bioscience, to transform fishing net waste into high-grade technical plastic that can be used in electrical devices.

DSM collaborates with several local communities in India to recover and collect discarded fishing nets, providing a significant benefit to the local economy and environment.

The abandoned fishing nets are then cut up, cleaned, extruded and inspected for quality before being sent to DSM for processing into Akulon RePurposed compound. The carbon footprint of this new compound is 82% lower than the traditional Nylon 6 used in similar products, reducing the potential impact on global warming, air acidification and photochemical ozone formation in its manufacturing process.

The final material also contains 15% glass fibre to make products more durable, resilient and long-lasting to meet all necessary electrical safety requirements and standards.

“Tackling the global challenge of ocean plastics will require our entire industry to step up and find innovative solutions to drive a circular transformation,” said Helen Mets, Executive Vice-President Materials at DSM.

“Through our collaboration with Schneider Electric, we aspire to take a small step towards maintaining healthier marine life, litter-free beaches and cleaner oceans and the initiative is also supporting local livelihoods and creating jobs — all while giving eco-conscious homeowners and residents access to safe and stylish electrical outlets. Together, we can create demand for re-used plastics and help find a second home for discarded recyclable materials.”

Image credit: © Carey

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