Sustainable Chair Made from Recycled Plastic

VIPER is HOLMRIS B8’s first chair carrying the EU-Ecolabel. And our first sustainable chair made from recycled plastic with traceability back to its original source. VIPER is unique in that both the shell and the tilting mechanism under the seat are made of recycled plastic.

VIPER is the result of HOLMRIS B8’s ambition to design and expand its range of sustainable furniture that:

• Is predominantly made from recycled or up-cycled materials
• Has a long lifetime because of high-quality materials and craftsmanship
• Can be recycled into new furniture at the end of its lifetime
• Minimizes consumption of the Earth’s scarce resources

VIPER does all of these things.

Plastic – the Sustainable Resource
VIPER was designed by Hans Thyge and Co. in close cooperation with HOLMRIS B8 and Letbæk Plast, which also manufactures the shell and tilting mechanism. Letbæk Plast is Denmark’s only plastics manufacturer that can handle the full life cycle of any plastic product, including design, development, manufacturing and recycling. Since 1973, they have specialized in separating plastic into fragments and combining it into new, better and stronger materials for use in new products and solutions. To Letbæk Plast, plastic is a sustainable resource that they use to solve the challenges of a wide range of different customers.

As with HOLMRIS B8, the circular approach is an integral part of their DNA. In fact, they insist that customers return the products and solutions after use so that the materials can be recycled and used in the manufacture of new solutions.

We Cannot Live without Plastic
Used plastic is widely utilized in Denmark and throughout the EU. And, of course, there is plenty of plastic to be had. As this overview shows, plastic is used for a huge array of purposes:

Plastic saves lives in the operating room. Plastic is also used in aircraft and trucks to reduce their total weight and thereby ensure lower carbon emissions. And the three grams of plastic around a cucumber in the store means that it can stay fresh for 10 days, while those without packaging only keep for a couple of days.

Thus, plastic plays an important role when it comes to reducing food waste, lowering carbon emissions, creating more green energy, improving the energy efficiency of buildings, etc.

In a world without plastic:

• The weight of products would be increased by 274%
• Energy consumption would rise by 57%
• Carbon emissions would be 61% higher

Source: ”The impact of plastics on life cycle energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in Europe”, 2010

Clearly, plastic is essential to creating a better world and making a tangible difference for the climate. And when a resource is so important, it is even more important that it is recycled as much as possible. Therefore, VIPER is not only made of recycled plastic. Customers who purchase the chair are encouraged to return it to us upon disposal so that Letbæk Plast can recycle its parts and use it in the production of new chairs.

It is vital that we all recycle more plastic. The explanation is simple:

“1 kg of recycled plastic means up to 2 kg fewer carbon emissions.”

Sustainability surpasses aesthetics in the furniture industry
And things are trending in the right direction: Young consumers are demanding and choosing more sustainable solutions and circular thinking – trends also backed by political initiatives. These demands have finally reached the furniture industry.

Letbæk Plast CEO Michael Bayer Thomsen says:

“Just three years ago, we had a hard time getting our foot in the door in the furniture industry because consumers weren’t anywhere near ready for products made from recycled plastic. Aesthetics trumped sustainability, but the tables are turned now. This is because manufacturers are better at combining the two, and because climate concerns have gained ground and are top of mind in everything we do and buy.”

This trend is also evident at HOLMRIS B8. For example, the VIPER chair was already sold to three schools before its official launch in late October 2019.