Minimise Material Contamination

Most materials used in products are not in a pure state. They are contaminated with a range of other substances such as colourings, fillers, UV stabilisers, fire retardants, surface treatments, labels etc. These contaminants are often impossible to separate from the material during recycling and so become mixed with other materials and their contaminants. The result is that every time the material is recycled, its quality is reduced (downcycled) due to the unwanted mixing and increasing quantity of contaminants. Not all contaminants are necessary and so designers should aim to keep contaminants to a minimum.

Pros: Increases ease of recycling
Pros: Increases value of recycled material at end of life
Cons: May reduce product performance and alternatives may be expensive