From fridges to fans: BEAMA member Volution help AO turn unwanted fridges into healthy fresh air

BEAMA member Volution Group plc have announced that plastics extracted from old fridges collected from customers’ homes, will be used to create brand new sustainable ventilation products for the first time.

AO will supply recycled high impact polystyrene (HIPS) from approximately 63,000 fridges each year, collected at its state-of-the-art recycling facility in Telford. The HIPS will be used to create the vital ducting components in energy saving systems produced by UK-based manufacturer of domestic ventilation fans, Volution Group plc.

The ventilation systems are installed to recover heat from extracted air and use it to reduce heat loss and save energy in the properties in the most economical and eco-friendly way.

This is a huge step forward for the retailer, who opened its recycling facility in 2017 and now recycles over 1.2 million appliances every year, which are collected from both customers and the public via its ‘Collect and Recycle’ service. The plastic collected is cleaned and refined into reusable material at its plastic plant, which recently celebrated its first anniversary.

“We’re so pleased that Volution will be using the plastic from our fridges to create fantastic eco products. As a retailer, AO want to take responsibility for the entire recycling process, from start to finish, and we’re proud to be producing high quality plastic that can be easily used in new products. The circular economy is really at the forefront of our business ambitions and our investment in plastic is key to fulfilling our long-term goals.”

Rob Sant - MD of AO Recycling

“We are delighted to be part of such a great initiative. With Volution Group having a target of 90% of the plastics we use in our facilities to come from recycled sources by 2025, this is a huge step towards us fulfilling our goal. The components made will also form part of our centralised heat recovery systems helping to provide energy saving ventilation solutions into new build housing.”

Lee Nurse - Business Development Director at Volution Group

This is a great example of collaboration and partnerships working in the UK supply chain to deliver on circular economy priorities. What is great about this work is the processing and manufacturing is taking place in the UK, and we hope steps like this will help bolster a growing supply chain in the UK for recycled plastics that are of high enough quality to be used in the manufacturing of appliances. To deliver low carbon, energy efficient appliances to consumers that are in themselves made using sustainable practices, with limited air miles, has to be the way forward.”

Dr Howard Porter - BEAMA CEO