Recently, the search giant Google announced that by 2022, the company will achieve revolutionary innovation, to ensure that all hardware products are made of recycled materials.
A few years ago, the company’s hardware team began experimenting with fiber materials from recyclable bottles to replace the polyester and pure plastic materials commonly used in the industry. During this period, they have successfully proved that the new materials can not only meet specific design needs but also achieve a sufficient supply of large-scale production. On average, the birth of each new product in the future can achieve the recycling of one-third of the plastic bottles.
In addition, Google also said that by 2020, all of the company’s goods transportation will achieve carbon balance. On the one hand, it will contribute to environmental protection. And on the other hand, it will actively pursue the concept of sustainability in the design process. At this stage, the core principle of the company’s design team is to strive to achieve sustainable, degradable and recyclable products.
When Google Began The Program of Recycled Materials?
In the three years since its inception, the Google hardware team has achieved a number of achievements, including fiber-based speakers and Google Home with rounded corners. But despite this, they still hope to further improve the sustainable use of the product. Ivy Ross, head of the company’s hardware design team, said: “Some people think the design is about making things look pretty or look good. And really design is about solving problems for humanity. . . . I said to the team, wait a minute, [sustainability] is just another problem and is probably the most important problem of our lifetime. Won’t we feel great as designers if we are taking that on?’
To some extent, many engineers have begun to design and innovate based on sustainable performance. For example, once a material engineer suggested that recyclable plastics could be considered as raw materials for the product. Later, after passing all the necessary quality, reliability and safety tests, we saw recyclable plastics in smart home networking devices such as Chromecast devices and speakers. Ana Corrales, chief operating officer of Google’s hardware division, said: ‘You have to really tinker in the lab for a while to make it work. But rather than engineers being worried about that, because they have a timeline that they need to get a product out, I think it’s something that’s quite motivating to them.’
In the development process, every decision needs to be carefully analyzed. New materials need to meet a range of parameters, including the color values presented on different devices, and the durability of exposure to different heat, sunlight, and chemical environments. Not only that, the sustainable performance also needs to be balanced with cost and production viability. For example, the cost of recyclable plastic fibers is much higher than the cost of plastic fibers commonly used in the industry. But at the same time, it’s not easy to fade features, but also brings additional benefits.