At Chinaplas 2013 this week, PolyOne Corporation (NYSE: POL), a premier global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions, announced a successful global collaboration with Xindao (Rijswijk, The Netherlands) and its design studio XD Design (Shanghai, China) to increase the content of renewable resources within the new XD Design Sunshine Solar Charger. Working together at the early stages of the design phase, PolyOne, Xindao and XD Design developed all of the molded plastic casing components for this charger from reSound™ biopolymer, which Xindao estimates will reduce the CO2 footprint for this product by as much as 35 percent compared to alternatives.
Marcel Dartée, director of global marketing for sustainability and biosolutions at PolyOne, said, “Designers and manufacturers such as Xindao are investigating how they can successfully add more bio-content to their products. In most cases, this requires a balance of functionality and formulation expertise. PolyOne understands these challenges and has responded with specialty reSound formulations that achieve this balance. For the Sunshine project, our development teams in China, Europe and the U.S. worked jointly with the company’s design and manufacturing resources to create this success.”
The Sunshine solar charger, with its array of five solar cells, is the newest item created by the XD Design team in a range of solar chargers for cellphones and tablets that take their design inspiration from nature. They are intended to make solar technology more practical and available for end users.
Ryan McSorley, head designer at XD Design, explained, “We want our end users to have fun interacting with these products. We also want the chargers to be long-lasting, and as sustainable as possible.”
While McSorley’s team had used ABS on earlier chargers in the XD Design line, they collaborated with PolyOne to develop a durable, bio-based reSound™ formulation.
XD Design, which won its seventh prestigious Red Dot Design Award this year, stands for products that are thoughtful, not only in their presentation and function, but also in their impact on the environment, according to McSorley. “The XD Design team is committed to using all available resources it can find to make an item more sustainable,” McSorley adds. “Given this commitment, reSound is perfect for a product like Sunshine, where the casing is difficult to dismantle and recycle. This material allows us to reduce the overall carbon footprint with renewably resourced materials.”
To successfully make the housing and stems on the Sunshine, reSound™ material had to match the performance and surface finish of ABS as closely as possible. Chris Lefteri, noted industrial designer and a materials consultant for Xindao, explained, “Finding a sustainable material with equal performance to traditional polymers is a common challenge for many of our clients as they strive to reduce their carbon footprint. Using reSound, a durable, eco-conscious material that offers the same functional and aesthetic behavior as conventional engineering polymers, enabled XD Design to reach both performance and sustainability goals.”
Dutch-based Xindao is a true maverick in the promotional products industry, where items are typically sourced rather than designed, because Xindao maintains its own award-winning XD Design group and manufacturing resources in China. “Our differentiation comes from distinguished design and enduring, long lasting products that are eco-conscious and easy to use,” said Han van Houten, Xindao marketing manager. “We constantly seek to innovate and incorporate environmentally friendly materials.”
PolyOne Corporation, with 2012 revenues of $2.9 billion, is a premier provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions. The company is dedicated to serving customers in diverse industries around the globe, by creating value through collaboration, innovation and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Guided by its Core Values, Sustainability Promise and No Surprises PledgeSM, PolyOne is committed to its customers, employees, communities and shareholders through ethical, sustainable and fiscally responsible principles.
- For high resolution images, please click here: Sunshine Solar Charger
- To access PolyOne’s news library online, please go to www.polyone.com/news.
Source: Polyone, press release, 2013-05-19.