ScanCom® Says No to Glass Fibre

Continuing our commitment to circularity and sustainable material use and development, we take a closer look at our ‘Zero Glass Fibre’ policy.

At ScanCom we have long worked with a dedication to keeping glass fibre out of our products – even while it is common practice in the industry to include glass fibre, particularly in plastic furniture. So why is it that we have kept our stance and continue to say NO this material in our products?

Glass fibre is a material commonly used for manufacturing plastic furniture and home appliances. This is because glass fibre adds strength and rigidity to the plastic, allowing it to reduce production cost.
BUT glass fibre is very hard to reuse or recycle – especially when it is used in a composite material (such as plastic chairs) – and, according to a 2020 study, more than 65% of all glass fibre products in the UK end up in landfill or incineration upon the end of their lifecycle! This waste can be added to what the material does to the environment through its production. An important note here, is that this is 65% of all glass fibre products – and the figure for composite materials containing glass fibre is higher than this, which makes the environmental challenges even bigger.

The real challenge for most recycling infrastructures is that as soon as you make a composite material, such as plastic mixed with glass fibre, it becomes more or less – if not totally – impossible to separate; which in turn makes dealing with composite materials from a reuse and recycling point of view very difficult and costly… And when things are difficult to deal with, many will resort to the easy and/or cheap solutions i.e. landfill and incineration.

This is not to say that the material can’t be a useful material (think of the blades on wind turbines) but without better possibilities for circularity or recycling, glass fibre is a material that cannot be considered as a sustainable solution for almost all manufacturing.

As part of our strategy on sustainability, we are dedicated to working towards full circularity and sustainability with all materials; even when we there may be an easier or cheaper way to walk. Hence, ScanCom remain committed to keep fibre glass out of our products as we believe this is the only right thing to do – we cannot put a price on our planet, after all.

This is why ScanCom remain committed to keeping our plastic products completely glass fibre free. If manufacturers change their approach, and maybe even used only recycled plastic material instead of virgin plastic infused with glass fibre, we can clean the world up faster, achieve better circularity in our household products and reduce consumption of virgin materials… all at the same time.

This ideal and approach is what is at the core of our mission for #DoingBusinesstheRightWay