Consortium on Microplastics Release during Household Washing Processes

Microplastics have become a topic of considerable concern across many industries and sectors. With efforts scaling up at the international level to tackle the problem, the implementation of different regulations across Europe risks hampering the free movement of goods and jeopardising the Single Market. All of which calls for the adoption of a lifecycle-based approach to identify the most cost-effective solution to a global issue.

Concern about the potential impact of microplastics has gathered momentum during the past few years. The number of scientific investigations has increased, along with public interest and pressure on stakeholders. “Understanding the magnitude of the issue is key to ensure an effective solution,” explained Giulia Zilla, APPLiA’s Energy & Environment Policy Manager when interviewed by Radio24 on the role and contribution of the home appliance industry to this global problem. Whilst lengthy discussions are taking place on trying to identify solutions, it is essential to acknowledge the complexity of the issue. In this sense, the deployment of washing machine filters into European homes has been widely identified as a possible mitigation strategy to microfiber emissions. “While filters can contribute to halting the journey of microplastics before they reach the environment, a more comprehensive and long-term solution, reconsidering the very use of plastics, is needed,commented Zilla. Mandating the equipping of all household washing machines with a filter does not seem to represent a conclusive solution to tackle the microplastics issue, as fibres will always find their way into the environment, if present in textile products themselves.

Before setting any legislative requirements on washing machines, a number of technical considerations must be addressed. Among others, the filter can cause clogging of the machine but what is more, the burden of maintenance to keep the machine running would fall on consumers, from cleaning to replacement and disposal, in order to prevent the rinsing off of fibres in the sink. Even in the case of integrated filters, it would be very problematic to deal with the maintenance of the filter itself while ensuring the best performance of the machine.

As a key actor in the discussion, APPLiA is the coordinator of the Consortium on Microplastics Release during Household Washing Processes, bringing together over 20 signatory parties ranging from washing machines, detergent and filter manufacturers, to test institutes and facilities towards a standardised testing methodology assessing microplastics release during household washing cycle. These preliminary but rather concrete steps make clear the industry’s commitment to take part in the discussion and ultimately tackle microplastic pollution in Europe.

Giulia Zilla, APPLiA’s Energy & Environment Policy Manager, was invited to present the contribution of the home appliance sector in tackling the global microplastics challenge in an insightful discussion on Radio24’s Si può fare led by Laura Bettini.

Do you speak Italian? The recording is available at this link.

Arçelik: well-deserved recognition for the Turkish group

Arçelik’s washing machine factory in Ulmi, Romania, ranked among the most advanced in the world in terms of environmental sustainability. Indeed, Arçelik, a global appliance manufacturer and subsidiary of Turkey’s largest industrial conglomerate, Koç Holding, has been awarded Sustainability Lighthouse status by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for its manufacturing plant . ‘Ulmi, Romania. A recognition that rewards effective measures in terms of energy performance applied on the site. This follows the already existing statusArçelik as a Global Lighthouse awarded by WEF to its Ulmi plant in 2019 and Eskişehir plant in 2021 for the successful adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies to improve productivity and performances.

New opportunities for small household appliances as adoption of IOT grows

What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things (or IoT for short) is a network of devices all connected wirelessly by the internet that can collect, share and act upon data without the involvement of human beings to make our lives better and improve the world around us.

The rapid adoption of internet of things (IOT) technology is driving growth within the small household appliances sector, according to a new report from
The report states that the small household market in the US was valued at approximately €24.6 billion ($24.64 billion) in 2021. That figure is estimated to reach around €33 billion ($33.05 billion) by 2027.

The adoption of IOT technology, along with rising consumer awareness about said products, is predicted to drive demand for the small household appliance market in the US. forecasts that the US small household appliances market will have a compound annual growth rate of 5.01% from 2022 to 2027.

The report explains that the US small household appliances market is made up of ten product types: small kitchen appliances, vacuum cleaners, grills and roasters, coffee machines, microwave ovens, irons, hair clippers, toasters, hair dryers and electric kettles.

There are a number of market drivers leading to a rising demand in small household appliances. One of the drivers is the desire from consumers to have a residence with advanced facilities, such as a dishwasher or coffee machine. As well as this, there is a perceivable increase in single-person households, urban populations and smart homes too. Also driving growth within this market segment is the rising millennial population.

Among the trends in the small household appliances market is cloud technology: “the evolvement and rise in cloud technology have supported and enriched the smart home technology,” the report notes. Other significant trends include the widespread adoption of internet of things (IOT), the rising prevalence of social media, along with innovations within artificial intelligence technology.

Beko partners with Youreko to help consumer choices with Energy Savings Tool

Beko, one of the leading home appliances brands in Europe*, is delighted to announce its integration with Youreko, an energy efficiency tool that helps consumers choose sustainably and understand the financial running costs when choosing new appliancesThe integration of the Youreko tool on Beko’s website, displays information to consumers on how energy efficient Beko’s appliances are when compared with traditional models and how much money the consumers could save in the long run with manufacturer’s appliances. The tool supplements the listings of Beko’s washing machines, washer dryers, tumble dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers.Currently operational on the Beko UK website, the Youreko partnership will be further implemented on Beko’s websites in Romania and Poland, helping consumers across Europe to calculate their cost saving potential.

Resource efficiency is a key priority for Beko, particularly in the current economical and climate-conscious environment. This integration with Youreko is an extension of the brand’s ongoing commitment to providing products for their consumers to encourage sustainable living.

The tool helps consumers on Beko’s websites by providing more information on the energy consumption and financial cost of running a particular appliance. Utilising an easy-to-read gold, silver or bronze tiered rating system, the tool signals where money and energy can be conserved most, helping consumers make more informed buying decisions.

By integrating Youreko into its products, Beko is also able to make a smart-recommendation to the consumers based on a product’s energy efficiency rating. This calculation is based upon a comparison against a more traditional, like-for-like model of the applianc

A-Class appliances: what it means.

Starting from March 2021, the new energy label has come into force, and it is mandatory on a wide range of appliances. The EU has established a standard applicable to all appliances to facilitate their comparison.
Thanks to the new classification based on a colour scale, you can identify those with the higher consumption levels (Class G) in red, and those with the lower consumption levels in dark green. By eliminating all “+”, the label has become more understandable, and the appliance classification has become stricter.

How much class A appliances consume and why they are more convenient
In order to understand the convenience of class A appliances, here is the average consumption of the most energy-intensive appliances:

A class A refrigerator with freezer consumes approximately 100 kWh per year, while a class G model consumes almost three times as much.
A class A washer that does 100 full-load washing cycles with the Eco 40-60° program consumes approximately 50 kWh per year, half of a class G model.
The air conditioning unit’s consumption is calculated also based on the SEER, which indicates the seasonal energy efficiency in cooling mode: the higher it is, the higher the appliance’s energy savings. On average, in class A, the SEER is around 8, and the annual energy consumption for cooling is around 100 kWh; while in lower classes, with a lower SEER, consumption can exceed 300 kWh per year.

Beko expects 100% of energy resources to be renewable by 2030

The data shows, human activities and influence have generated an unprecedented climate and environmental crisis. Without going any further, each year around 2 billion tons of waste are generated in the world and, by 2050, the figure could grow to 3.4 billion tons.

In this context, Beko has integrated sustainability into all its axes, offering added value and providing solutions that are more respectful of the environment.

The recognition of the international group has been thanks to the saving of 2.17 million m3 of water with water efficiency projects and rainwater collection in factories, the use of more than 7,000 tons of recycled materials in its products and the initiative of 228 energy efficiency projects, between 2020 and 2021. In addition, through the use of recycled cardboard in their packaging, they have managed to save more than half a million trees in 2021.

The company’s commitment for 2030/2050 is to use 100% renewable energy resources, achieve 99% waste recycling in all global manufacturing operations and increase the use of recycled content up to 40% in its products. and reduce water and energy consumption per product by 45%. The goal for 2050 is to achieve net zero emissions throughout the value chain.

Innovative environmentally responsible technologies

Thanks to technology, Beko is constantly exploring new solutions that help consumers and, above all, respect the environment as an added value. Beko SaveWater dishwashers guarantee perfect cleaning results with 1/3 less water consumption. AutoDose® is another featured technology for dishwashers and washing machines, which dispenses the optimal amount of detergent, based on load and soil level. In washing machines, AquaTech® technology, thanks to the power of water, reduces washing time by half, which implies a consumption of up to 30% less energy than class A washing machines.

In relation to the recycling that has been generated since the project began in 2017, the company has managed to recycle more than 58 million plastic bottles with a reduction in CO2 emissions of almost 2,200 tons.

An example is the RecycledTub washer and dryer, made from plastic waste that has been transformed into an alternative raw material. For its part, the RecycledNet oven is made from waste extracted from fishing nets and industrial thread; while the RecycledDry dryer has been designed with an average of 15% recycled plastic. Finally, the BioCycle refrigerator is one of the products made with biocomposites to protect the plane

Arçelik: well-deserved recognition

Arçelik’s washing machine factory in Ulmi, Romania, ranked among the most advanced in the world in terms of environmental sustainability. Indeed, Arçelik, a global appliance manufacturer and subsidiary of Turkey’s largest industrial conglomerate, Koç Holding, has been awarded Sustainability Lighthouse status by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for its manufacturing plant . ‘Ulmi, Romania. A recognition that rewards effective measures in terms of energy performance applied on the site. This follows the already existing statusArçelik as a Global Lighthouse awarded by WEF to its Ulmi plant in 2019 and Eskişehir plant in 2021 for the successful adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies to improve productivity and performances.

Sustainability Lighthouse

The World Economic Forum’s Global Lighthouse Network (GLN) seeks to promote 4IR technologies to transform production facilities, value chains and business models. In 2021, GLN introduced Sustainability Lighthouse as a new designation to recognize manufacturers who apply innovative 4IR transformations to boost productivity while preserving the environment.

Arçelik shows the way

Arçelik’s washing machine factory in Ulmi, Romania, leads the way in efficient and sustainable manufacturing and uses state-of-the-art technologies for improved energy and water efficiency. The Ulmi plant is now designated as one of the Global Lighthouse Network’s ten sustainability flagship sites. A new recognition that Hakan Bulgurlu, CEO of Arçelik, commented saying: “ We are proud to be recognized as a pioneer in sustainable development by the World Economic Forum. This is a reflection of our deep commitment to environmental protection throughout our organization. We have ambitious environmental goals and we believe that theWe aim to achieve net zero emissions for all of our operations by 2050 through green investments in renewable energy, as well as energy efficiency in products and production. Our plant in Ulmi acts as a Sensitivity: Public laboratory and serves as an example for the entire Arçelik ecosystem. We set out to build not only an efficient Industrial 4.0 site in terms of production, but also a unit that reflects our commitment to contributing to a better future. And this recognition is well deserved, thanks to investments in advanced technologies and green production applications. I am proud of all my colleagues who have worked hard and with dynamism to achieve this. »

As a world leader in sustainability, the Arçelik washing machine factory in Ulmi stands out for the following achievements :

  • The factory is the first and only production unit in Romania to hold LEED Platinum certification.
  • The factory uses 100% green electricity. It has renewable energy systems for heating and cooling, such as rooftop solar (PV) panels (930 kWp) and concentrated solar power (700 kWth) and plans to increase the yield of the panels 160% solar power by the first half of 2023.
  • The factory’s “digital twin” model automatically adjusts lighting and optimizes cooling and heating systems. The building management system uses an algorithm that leverages approximately 15,000 real-time data points from more than 650 energy-measuring devices and sensors.
  • The lighting system uses 62.9% less electricity than a non-automated system , and the need for natural gas boilers is reduced by 34.5% for the preparation of domestic hot water.
  • Due to the high level of water stress around the plant, an advanced treatment plant was installed, treating 100% of domestic and industrial wastewater, and recycling and reusing 68% of its water intake.
  • All these efforts have resulted in a 17% energy saving per product, a 25% reduction in water consumption per product and a 22% reduction in scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions per product in production in one year , in accordance with company objectives.
  • Since its commissioning, the plant has avoided the emission of 684 tons of CO2.
  • The factory uses 100% green electricity. It has renewable energy systems for heating and cooling, such as rooftop solar (PV) panels (930 kWp) and concentrated solar power (700 kWth) and plans to increase the yield of the panels 160% solar power by the first half of 2023.

Electrolux Students design for single, compact living.

the fifth year running, Electrolux has collaborated with students from the Umeå Institute of Design (UID) to develop product ideas for the home of the future.

With more people living alone today than at any point in recorded history,* the majority in small urban apartments, demand for goods such as small appliances, flatpack furniture and foldable items is rising. That’s why the students this year were challenged to develop progressive premium product ideas for single people living in small spaces. The 14 students from the Master’s program in Advanced Product Design created concepts for so-called singletons living a micro-home lifestyle in four major cities – Hong Kong, Munich, Mumbai and New York.

“These students challenge conventional assumptions,” says Thomas Johansson, Design Director at Electrolux. “They envision the future and create concepts that harness the essence of our brand in a captivating way. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for Electrolux to reach the best emerging talent.”

The product ideas:HumiTex: a slim dehumidifier that hangs in a closet to ensure optimal conditions for clothing, with premium materials and connectivity to signal when it needs to be emptied. Designed for space-conscious singletons in humid Hong Kong. By Ellis Walker, Jinying Cheng, Mattias Nordin and Thilo Fiebig.
Adapted: a premium hub that uses the kitchen’s vertical space to organize small kitchen appliances either as a piece of furniture or wall-mounted. The modules are connected in an app. Designed for busy singletons in Munich looking to reduce visual and mental clutter. By Joel Sjödin, Corinna Diestel, and Silvester Kössler
Jodana: an ecosystem of cooktops that adapt to the user’s circumstances. Can be stored vertically and combined with others in a modular system when cooking for more than one. Connectivity enables couples to cook together while apart. Designed for the singleton in bustling Mumbai. By Luisa Ebeling, Indalecio Gaytan, Niklas Muhs, and Yash Saboo.
Sensea: offers a ritual-like and sensory drinking experience. AI-based ,the device becomes a nudging companion, using physical data readout to gauge needs, habits and moods to prepare suitable morning, midday and evening herbal blends. Designed for singletons in New York City who seek calm, comfort, and wellbeing. By Gerardo Soler, Nina Långström, and Niklas Andreasen.