After three years of design and development, a 100% recyclable umbrella entirely made from polypropylene (PP) is recently launched by Italian design house, Ginkgo.
Weight at only 250g, Ginkgo says the umbrella is stiff and flexible, able to absorb random impacts and windforce without breaking or bending. The stretchers, according to Mechanical Engineer Gianluca Savalli, are not assembled but made with a single piece of flexible plastic. The peculiar patented geometry allows them to resist strong winds by elastically flexing and returning into position without bending. The hinges are designed to last for thousands of open-close cycles.
All the parts, from the canopy to the handle, are made from PP. All the fastening elements, such as screws, pivots and especially glue, have been replaced by integrated snap-fit elements. Gingko says the number of components has been reduced from the traditional 120 pieces to just 20, significantly reducing the chance of breaking down.
All of Ginkgo components are injection molded, so that each part can be colored as desired, adding a sense of personality for the user. More importantly, the umbrella can simply be thrown into a recyclable bin for recycling. In the future, Marco Righi, Business Engineer of the project says, the aim is to create a cradle-to-cradle recovery system that can recreate discarded umbrella into a new one.