Ginkgo claims to have made the 'world's first' fully recyclable umbrellas
AN UMBRELLA made only from polypropylene (PP) claims to be the ‘world’s first’ eco-sustainable umbrella.
The Ginkgo umbrella is the brainchild of Italians Federico Venturi, Gianluca Savalli and Marco Righi and is said to be 100 percent recyclable.
Righi says the inspiration behind the Ginkgo came from the desire to make an umbrella that is flexible, but doesn’t break.
“At the beginning we thought about using PET as it is known to be hard, strong and recyclable,” said Righi.
Righi added: “Our design was inspired by the hinges used by Bosch on the drill cases, in use during the ‘80s. They are composed by two halves made in a single piece, injection moulded, with a self-hinge in the middle constituted by a thin constriction, able to bend without losing functionality.
“Polypropylene is the only material suitable for this kind of application, so this was our final choice.”
Other benefits of using PP for this project include its resistance to mechanical stress and chemical agents, flexibility and rigidity and its light weight.
The umbrella is completely recyclable and is made by environmentally friendly injection moulding. Righi says all the polypropylene scraps from production will be recycled and reused to make more umbrellas.
Ginkgo is also made by suppliers with certification like ISO 140001 in order to guarantee environmental protection.
This isn’t the only way a Ginkgo can be ‘green’. Because it is made using injection moulding, the umbrella can come in a plethora of colour combinations, with the possibility to have every single component in a different colour.
The use of a single plastic for the whole end product reportedly reduces production steps by 80 percent and uses just one sixth of the parts of a traditional umbrella.
When asked about the recyclability of the umbrella, Righi said: “You can throw your Ginkgo into your ‘normal’ recycling bin, but we are starting to work on a project with the aim to create a recovery system.”
“Through this system, people can return their Ginkgo directly to us, which we hope will generate a virtuous circle that will massively reduce the impact of these umbrellas on the environment.”
The project took to crowdfunding website Indiegogo to receive the funding needed to produce its first line of umbrellas. With nine days to go until the deadline, the project had generated 239 percent of its initial $30,000 requirement.
This will cover the whole production line’s setup costs and production of the first batch of umbrellas, which the Indiegogo contributors will receive.