Increasing Recycled Content in Packaging Cases
WS Audiology (WSA) combines 140 years of experience and expertise in hearing technology and develops one in every three hearing aids worldwide. WSA aims to be the most sustainable hearing aid company, and we are committed to make our packaging more sustainable.
Each one of our hearing aids comes inside a jewel case currently produced with post-consumer recycled (PCR) acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or virgin acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) plastic. The jewel case has a clamshell design to provide external protection to the hearing aids that it holds within. The jewel case is white in colour and is expected to have a lifespan of 3 – 8 years, withstanding daily usage and long-term wear and tear from being carried around and opened/closed—at least twice a day.
WSA is thus seeking to develop a more sustainable packaging material by fully or partially replacing virgin plastics used in manufacturing the jewel cases. The proposed solution can be a recycled material or full sustainable material solution, and should be able to fulfil WSA’s brand requirements, such as retaining the colour, functionality and quality of their existing jewel case packaging.
Solution providers should be able to manufacture or be willing to work with appointed manufacturers (outside of Singapore) to pilot and subsequently scale up the production of the material solution for commercial scale manufacturing.
WSA is open to receive proposals of plastic and non-plastic solutions, so long as the material is of a sustainable nature/source, and is able to match the current requirements.
The proposed technology or material solution should be able to achieve the following:
- Fully or partially (between 60 to 70%) replace virgin acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) or post-consumer recycled acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
- Be of pure white colour – as close to color code RAL Signal White 9003 (CIELAB L*a*b 88, -0.40, 2.70)
- UV resistant – through the use of compatible UV inhibitors or other methods
- Be compatible with injection moulding process
- Mechanically stable – able to withstand more than 3 drops from a height of 0.75m on both the opening mechanism and at a 45° angle from the opening side
- Opening durability – able to last a minimum of 5,000 repeated opening and closure
- Lacquer scratch test – lacquering on the material should be able to withstand abrasion in accordance to ASTM F2357-04
- Printability – material should allow for printing on its surface, preferably via laser printing but open to other solutions
- Colour leaching – all printings on the material should not leach colour; tested by wiping with a foam that will be moistened with sweat, and colour should not remain on the foam
- Smell – all materials used for the jewel case should not release smell; smell test will be performed by WSA or its associates
- The proposed technology has to be cost effective
- Open to receive solutions of varied Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), starting from TRL 3
- Solution providers should be able to manufacture or be willing to work with appointed manufacturers (outside of Singapore) to pilot and subsequently scale up the production of the material solution for commercial scale manufacturing.
Solution development and pilot testing are expected to be accomplished within the next 12 months for the Singapore market. WSA is committed to achieve the development of a sustainable solution for its jewel cases within the next 3 years.
Annual usage of raw material approximately 50 tonnes.
Proposal submissions are open from 13 Sep 2021 10:00AM to 31 Dec 2021 12:00PM