Recently, the company ACER presented its new Aspire Vero laptop, bragging that its manufacturing process used 30% of recycled plastic. However, and if the teams of this brand were already questioned for their manufacturing qualityWill this affect its quality and especially its durability? Let’s see it.
In recent times, there are several manufacturers that are publicizing with great fanfare their commitment to the environment, and give stratospheric and hardly verifiable figures for the reduction of CO2 emissions during their manufacturing processes, among other things. In the case of ACER, with the launch of its new Aspire Varo laptop, they boast that they have used at least 30% recycled plastic in its manufacture, but is this something positive or is it bad?
Where does recycled plastic come from?
Let’s start from the basis that not all plastics are the same, no matter how much they go to the same recycling container. When we as users throw recycled products in the trash, they are not all usable, much less, especially when we talk about the recycling of plastic that is then used in the manufacture of new devices.
The plastics that are used, or rather should be used to recycle and manufacture new products, come from what we users take to the so-called «clean points«; The problem comes from the fact that in the plastics recycling sector there is no quality standard, and there is no guarantee that the polymeric properties of recycled plastics are within the tolerance range that allows their reuse; Let us remember, to begin with, that even in a clean point, the plastics are not separated per se, but rather the devices are stored (we are talking, for example, of televisions, washing machines, refrigerators…), generally outdoors, for a long time before they are taken to a processing plant for subsequent recycling. The different types of plastics are also not identified in any way.
What we want to tell you with this is that recycled plastics, except in a few rare cases (such as, for example, a beverage manufacturer that only recycles the plastics from its own containers) that are not ACER’s, have a dubious origin, widely varying degrees of mix can be used (due to the deficiencies in separation recycling plants) and full of polymeric impurities, not to mention different degrees of decomposition due to having been stored in clean points or even in the recycling plants themselves for undetermined periods.
The presence of impurities and of different polymeric plastics mixed in recycled materials is something critical that greatly influences the structure and mechanical properties of the product, not to mention its degree of degradation. In other words, a recycled plastic has many possibilities of being of worst quality than a new one, being much more prone to wear, fracture and, in general, with a much lower robustness and durability.
ACER and its recycled plastic laptops
Looking at the gallery, it can be very good to say that you have launched a laptop made with 30% recycled plastic. Environmentalists will say that you are collaborating to preserve the planet and, to a certain extent, this is undeniable, but is it something that is worth it when we talk about computer products? How much does the fact that it is made from recycled plastic penalize the durability of the device?
If the manufacturer ACER has always been known for the dubious quality of its products, imagine what these laptops made of recycled plastic will be like. It should be emphasized that at no time has the manufacturer specified where this recycled plastic comes from or what its composition is, so we must assume, a priori, that it comes “from anywhere” with which they have reached an agreement, and that’s it. We have commented on the current deficiencies that they have in terms of separation in the recycling plants.
Except on rare occasions where the manufacturer only recycles the plastics in their own products (and these are generally beverage manufacturers that use their own packaging for recycling), manufacturers can only make deals with recycling plants to provide them with that recycled plastic. from who knows what origin, as in the case of ACER.
In short, is a laptop made from recycled plastic worse? We can’t say for sure just because ACER hasn’t said where the plastic comes from, but it stands to reason that the plastics will actually be of poorer quality, less durable, and more brittle and prone to breakage. Therefore, we can affirm without fear of being wrong that doesn’t seem like a very good idea that of using recycled plastic in a laptop, a product that tends to be carried from one place to another, hit and even fall relatively easily.
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