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Case study

Upcycling used water barrels into trendy suitcases

We connected with Ninetygo, a popular Chinese luggage brand, and Nongfu Spring, one of China's leading beverage producer, to launch their latest suitcase model. This project extends the possibilities of PCR source recycled materials into the consumer product sector.
Task

Lower carbon footprint and more sustainable luggage to meet a stronger environmental need from consumers

In line with the vision of building a greener world, lower-carbon footprints and more sustainable lifestyles are becoming more popular. Standards have been raised as young adults have become the mainstream supporters of more sustainable products. In traveling, it’s not just carrying items with the lightweight feature, but also more eco-friendly products such as a suitcase.
 
Ninetygo‘s eco-friendly strategy uses low-carbon-footprint materials in pursuit of a beautiful suitcase to offer travelers more options for low-carbon travel.
Challenge

Engineering Plastics that fulfill both aesthetically cutting edge and environmental requirements

Ninetygo’s customers are the new generation who advocate for a low-carbon footprint and eco-friendly travel. Suitcases are not only essential travel items but also an extension of their fashion. Hence, to meet the requirement of these trends, Ninetygo was looking for plastics materials that meet both convincing aesthetics according to their CMF strategy and environmental needs that can easily be applied to suitcase design and production.

Covestro adopts advanced recycling technology to revitalize waste plastics, properly giving Nongfu Spring water bottles a second life. This offers the industry a lower footprint material solution, as well as promotes more sustainable development for more manufacturers. We will keep establishing more sutainability partners like Covestro in the future.

Vivian Wang

Manager, Public Policy and Sustainable Development Office, Nongfu Spring

Ninetygo suitecase: Experience the beauty of ethereal from our transparent design.
Solution

Suitcases made with post-consumer recycled (PCR) polycarbonates coming from used water barrels

We modify the Nongfu Spring’s end-of-life water bottles into post-consumer, mechanically recycled (PCR) polycarbonate, enhancing its source traceability and quality. Furthermore, Our PCR material processing undergoes stringent quality control, ensures raw materials are traceable and carries third-party endorsements from internationally recognized certification bodies (GRS).

Polycarbonate material features rigid, lightweight, transparent, and resistant to high temperatures, while sharing a high degree of design freedom and could be created into various textures with different molds. ideally for more sustainable suitcases due to its lightweight, strong, and durable nature.

Meanwhile, PCR polycarbonates can also significantly reduce carbon footprint compared to virgin materials. The Ninetygo model features an outer shell made with Makrolon® 705 R50, with 50% PCR content from Nongfu Spring water bottles. This shell can reduce the product of carbon emissions by an estimated 35%, lower than a typical polycarbonate material for the same application. 

Recycling of polycarbonate materials is an important task for us in advancing to a more circular and more sustainable economy. This cooperation with Nongfu Spring is a positive and innovative business model in which we develop new formulations and production processes to maximize the value of polycarbonate materials in the recycling process. With Ninetygo joining us, we broaden the application scenarios of recycled plastics, further enhancing sustainability. We will continue to innovate, unite upstream and downstream partners, and develop more sustainable solutions, to help drive China's circular economy into a new chapter.

Roy Cheung

Global head of Sustainabllity Solutions, Engineering Plastics, Covestro

Over the Water, the second CMF design series especially developed for PCR materials.
Solution

Developing CMF aesthetics for PCR materials: Over the Water

At Covestro, we believe that CMF can help drive the commercialized success and use of recycled materials. It adds value to aesthetic design, functional design, and circular design. Our PCR materials have excellent color matching capabilities. The surface design of the Ninetygo suitcase adopted Over the Water, the second  CMF design series especially developed for PCR materials jointly by Covestro and the Colour & Imaging Institute of the Arts & Science Research Centre at Tsinghua University.
 
The transparent texture along with the color of water gives the design essence of transparency and purity. The more sustainable CMF Design proposal aims to create design solutions for recycled materials. Based on research findings, design, and experimentation, the project integrates CMF design trends into our more sustainable polycarbonate materials to bring more circular design aesthetics into products. 

Young consumers are now the largest buyers of eco-friendly and circular goods. These more sustainable suitcases align with the travel and lifestyle ambitions of the new generation of consumers for the Ninetygo brand. Covestro's CMF proposal was the source of inspiration for the product design, and offers travelers a new option for low-carbon travel and a better aesthetic experience.

Yang Jidong

Director of Product Development and design, Ninetygo, Shanghai Runmi Technology

Key Benefits

  • Help customers practice more sustainable development principles PCR materials are traceable and of high quality, effectively reduces carbon footprint and helps customers to address sustainability needs.
  • Complement sustainability with CMF Design The transparent design of the suitcase surface promotes personality while maintaining the recycling process easier, improving the overall recyclability of the materials.
  • Realize more PCR Material Applications Continue to strive for deeper cooperation with more ecosystem partners to build a recycling value chain with transparency and traceability, and to expand the application market of more sustainable material solutions.

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