Well, the answer is rather simple.
Recycled plastic is often of a lower strength grade. This is due to re-granulation of the material — when plastic is recycled, it is cut into smaller pieces in order to be able to mold new parts out of it. The cutting weakens the strength of the plastic.
To ensure that the design is long-lasting, virgin plastic with strength improving additives are combined with the recycled material, enabling high durability.
To us it is a reasonable trade-off — creating a highly durable chair that will last for years to come, still using at least 80% recycled plastic. We believe that this will impact the environment less than creating a more frail chair with a shorter lifespan made in 100% recycled plastic.
Creating a long-lasting design is not only about durability and strength but also the longevity of its aesthetics. The amount of color pigment needed depends on the initial color of the recycled plastic. The initial color of recycled plastic is often a range of grayish tones. To add color to the material, virgin plastic is used as a carrier of pigment. The more color pigment needed the higher amount of virgin plastic needed.
The unique colorway and shape of the Fiber Chair Family are truly emblematic of its design. We have developed a recycled plastic material that allows us to create products with the same iconic Muuto colors, design and durability – all while keeping a significant percentage of recycled matter in each seat.