Design for Disassembly

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Design for disassembly

For recycling to be broadly applicable, many environmentalists believe that products should be cheaper and easier to take apart so that they can be put together again and reused in other products.

Many large companies like Whirlpool, Digital Equipment, 3M, and General Electric have begun to design products in this regard. The BMW car, Z1, is considered to be the first to incorporate the concepts of disassembly. The plastic exterior of the car can be removed from the metal chassis in 20 minutes. The doors, bumpers, and front, rear, and side panels have been manufactured with recyclable plastic, and pop-in/pop-out fasteners replace screws and glues, whenever possible.

Composite materials, on the other hand, which are being used on a more widespread basis are difficult to recycle. Small juice boxes, for instance, which have become very popular are made of many layers of plastic, paper, and aluminum , which cannot be separated.

See also Recyclables; Reuse; Waste management; Waste reduction