We had already proven that we could use recycled plastics in SENSEO coffee machines but we never managed to introduce it into the SENSEO Original as its parts were not designed for recycled plastics. We’ve put the challenge to our engineers and suppliers; can we introduce recycled plastics into our most sold SENSEO coffee machine without changing the parts?
The biggest opportunities for recycled plastics were found in the baseplate of the SENSEO Original, as this is a black part and does not come into contact with food it is well suited for recycled plastics. There were three main challenges that we needed to overcome.
First of all, aroma is an essential part of the coffee making process so we had to make sure that the recycled plastics could not generate any negative smell experience which is often a challenge for recycled plastics. Secondly, a good cup of coffee is a hot cup of coffee so the recycled plastics needed to withstand challenging heat resistance requirements. Thirdly we needed to make sure that the recycled plastics baseplate looked as good as the existing part.
So how did we overcome these challenges? First our teams critically reviewed our technical specifications to determine what was really required from recycled plastics. Once these exact specifications were determined we involved our suppliers to find a grade that met these requirements. After a thorough test of all materials in our labs we selected Veolia to compound the final grade of recycled PP that is used in SENSEO Original. The recycled PP is based on the grade in which 30% of the recycled plastics is made from old Philips vacuum cleaners that were separately recycled by our partner Coolrec.