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Fibox electrical enclosures: Sustainability for a greener future

24 August 2022

‘Sustainability’! The vitality of life on earth depends on taking informed practical action. As designers, installers, and manufacturers, we can make a difference that counts.

The concept of sustainability needs to be at the top of our agenda, the vitality of life on Earth depends upon it. Achieving sustainable industrial development involves not only a change in human values but a shift to responsible practical actions throughout industry. 

Global industry generally recognises that it has a vital role to play in supporting sustainable economic growth whilst also helping to meet respective governments' low to zero carbon targets. But, still, metal and plastic electrical enclosures end up in landfill, or worse, fly-tipped, at the end of their useful life. A practice that is not only economically wasteful but damaging to our delicate ecosystems. Integrating technical and ecological factors is an enormous challenge within our industrial world. 

Fibox, a major Scandinavian-based manufacturer of high-quality technical plastic enclosures, has firmly grasped this important challenge. The principal material from which Fibox electrical enclosures are made is a technical form of Polycarbonate (Makrolon). Polycarbonate is a durable plastic that is used globally in many industrial, transportation and domestic applications, amongst others.

Unlike many other plastics, Fibox polycarbonate enclosures are fully recyclable. This means that at the end of a product’s life, the material can be recycled and reused, possibly becoming a part of another generation of recyclable enclosures. A sustainable solution, I am sure you will agree.

Fibox is fully aware that there are important questions about whether the raw plastic materials from which their enclosures are injection-moulded will support the internationally important drive towards sustainability. 

The production phase of polycarbonate raw material accounts for the largest proportion of carbon emissions. This figure, although proportionately high, is significantly lower than that of steel or aluminium production. By reducing the production process of a material, the overall carbon emissions will be proportionately reduced. 

Fibox polycarbonate, as mentioned above, is fully recyclable and recycled material can be incorporated into ‘virgin’ feedstock, thereby reducing the production process, and reducing overall carbon emissions. Doing so has the additional benefit of improving some of the favourable properties of the material. Recycling is therefore an attractive and viable production process which is less carbon-intensive than conventional production processes and typically incurs lower greenhouse gas emissions.

It is also fundamental to the concept of encouraging a circular economy rather than the more prevalent linear economy that is so waste intensive. Significantly, one of the four areas of Network Rail’s environmental sustainability priorities is a move towards greater recycling and reuse.

Recycling and incorporating recycled polycarbonate resin into new products is a win-win, reducing energy consumption and improving environmental sustainability.

Fibox enclosures will not solve the environmental problems posed by industrial processes, but it is taking very practical actions to reduce the impact of electrical enclosures on global industrial waste and carbon emissions. We can all be part of the solution; the vitality of the Earth depends on it.

Practical action you can take is to incorporate sustainable recyclable electrical enclosures into your designs. See www.fibox.com, where you can review products and download 3D CAD drawings. 


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