Japanese Electronics and ceramics manufacturer Kyocera are well known as exemplars in the circular economy. "Project Recover & UnBuild" investigated the feasibility of Kyocera Document Solutions UK (who supply photocopiers and imaging equipment to the UK) using their machines to drive a new industry programme inspired by the Japanese system for the recovery, disassembly and reprocessing of materials used in electrical goods. The project, led by design company We All Design in collaboration with Tickety Boo, received funding from the Technology Strategy Board through their "New Designs for a Circular Economy" competition.
Rob Maslin of We All Design has created a video that introduces the project.
KYOCERA’s Head of CSR, Tracey Rawling Church explains the story behind the project: “I met Rob Maslin, director of We All Design and Mark Shayler of environmental consultancy TicketyBoo at the RSA when I took a Kyocera machine to a teardown lab run as part of The Great Recovery project which promotes better product design as a key component of the Circular Economy concept. Mark dismantled the machine and was most complimentary about the way it was designed to facilitate materials recovery at end of life; Rob later contacted me to ask KYOCERA Document Solutions to partner on a project funded by the Technology Strategy Board. What we discovered was that the “recover and unbuild” infrastructure does exist, but is very fragmented and the processes occur outside the Government compliance scheme for WEEE so the insights from the project focused more on how to join up and streamline the processes and ensure that the data can be recorded and analysed along the volume based outcomes of the WEEE Directive.”
Rob Maslin explained the future ambitions for the project: “Kyocera have been brilliant to work with and the work we have done is already making an impact to their current practices, which is really great.”
“Instead of creating a new programme, the work we are now developing together is looking to build on what the UK has to offer. Kyocera are showing leadership by facilitating models for collaborating and better communication with their stakeholders to create a value chain that will be worth more than the sum of it parts. The plans continue to be developing solutions that don’t just affect Kyocera, but actually lead to a positive impact across other sectors as well.”
The project benefitted from the support of the ES KTN during the funding application process, and then during the workshop itself.