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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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I had my computer fixed this week and in talking to the technician as he worked, discovered that the once easy upgrades to RAM or the replacement of hard drives are unlikely to be possible in future because the parts which used to be easy to remove and replace are now soldered in. I had loved this brand because I had felt that in producing computers which could seemingly go on forever, the company was bucking the trend of producing cheap, throwaway products that end up polluting our environment - and instead marketing something far more sustainable.

We went on to discuss the damage our heavy consumption of new goods is doing to our planet and both felt that these days, if we have the technology to lengthen a product's life, then we should be using it. After all, it's the only responsible thing to do, isn't it?

I don't normally mention individual companies in my Leaders but I have to make an exception this week, having been inspired by the presentation by Arcelik's CEO Hakan Bulgurlu, at this week's IFA exhibition in Berlin. The company has produced a washing machine with a built-in microplastics filter, which will prevent some 90% of the microplastics that normally leech out in the wash, from entering our water systems. And not only could it be available next year, but the company is offering to share the technology with other manufacturers, for the good of the planet.

"Today sustainability is a way of life; it is a business model," he said. "As responsible leaders in businesses, we have to change our act. Plastic pollution is one of the biggest problems of our world today. What is very clear is that we have to rethink our relationship and how we use plastics. We must stop polluting the oceans now."

Speaking of the technology, he said: "This is one of the most important innovations to come out of Arcelik. We are prepared to share this technology with anyone who is interested in using it. I invite and challenge our competition today to use this innovation in any way they wish. We need to act. Change begins today, right here."

The washing machine was just one of the exciting environmentally-friendly appliances unveiled by the company. Whether the technology used in these, too, will be shared with the competition is another matter, but this gesture by Arcelik may well have opened the doors to a better way of manufacturing that will be of benefit to us all.


Jan Hobbs



10th September 2019

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