Green idea for a rainy day: The perfect plastic umbrella

By Rikki Stancich

Green idea for a rainy day: The perfect plastic umbrella

A novel 100% polypropylene, 100% recyclable umbrella was launched last week by Italian design firm, Ginkgo. The innovative, green umbrella is not only recyclable; it has been designed to be fully sustainable.

No screws or pivots are used in the assembling procedure; instead all the couplings use long lasting and reliable snapfit joints. The snapfit design means that if one part of the umbrella fails, rather then throwing away the entire umbrella, you can simply replace the part.

Ginkgo’s umbrella uses just 20 components, compared to the 120 components found in standard umbrellas. By reducing the product’s propensity for failure, its life is significantly extended, says the company.

According to Cleantechnica, which helped to both launch the product and raise crowdfunding, the product’s design could divert 1 billion umbrellas from landfill. That amounts to 240,000 tons of metal waste per year (enough to build 25 Eiffel Towers), and enough non-biodegradable umbrella canopies to cover the land area of New York (700km2).

This is because it uses 100% generic, recyclable and replaceable components. The material that it is made of – polypropylene – is recyclable almost anywhere in the world. So at the end of the umbrella’s life, you can toss the whole thing into the recycling bin with a clear conscience.