To provide sustainable modern living for its customers and to align more closely with the circular economy, the industry has increased the use in appliances of recyclable metals and plastics. In recent years, end-of-life recycling and material recovery has been a regulatory requirement, financed by the industry and driven by the Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations introduced in 2013. The sector historically recycled metal, thanks to its inherent economic value. In the last decade many manufacturers have taken recycling further by upping the use of recyclable, reusable or compostable plastics. Major efforts are under way to use plastics of the same type in an appliance to facilitate recycling. Some manufacturers are also developing ingenious ways to use recycled materials, especially plastics, upcycling an array of waste products to create appliances of the future.
Another major focus for materials is tackling the amount and type of packaging used during transportation. Some manufacturers have achieved 100% recyclable packaging, and all are developing ways of removing polystyrene and other plastics and ensuring these are replaced with recyclable materials.