July 16, 2015

Circular Opportunities of Philips Sonicare Products

Project overview

We evaluated the potential for impact reduction and material recovery through a direct recovery program for Philips Sonicare products.

Circular Opportunities for a Direct Recovery Program of Philips Sonicare Products

Client: Deloitte

Partners: Circle Economy

Date delivered: July, 2013



Project leader

Project Description

Consumer products today are not well designed for high value recycling, and the vast majority of these products end up either being landfilled or incinerated. As many modern products are becoming increasingly complex in their designs and components, it is only becoming more difficult to extract value from traditional recycling efforts.

Using Circle Economy’s Circle Scan process, we evaluated the potential benefits of a direct recovery scheme, whereby the manufacturer would collect, disassemble, and repurpose the materials from its used products. We specifically looked at Philips’ Sonicare product line, evaluating the barriers and opportunities in establishing a take-back and recovery initiative for these products.


Evaluation of a Direct Recovery Program:

In evaluating the efficacy of a recovery system we analysed the opportunities and challenges in implementing and operating recovery programs, and identified additional activities that would facilitate high value recovery and reuse. We also evaluated the value of material recovery from Sonicare products, and recommended possible design interventions to maximize high value recovery.

Circle Scorecard:

The Circle Scorecard is an evaluation method that indicates the impact contribution (positive or negative) of an activity across several dimensions of circular performance including energy and material use, ecosystems impact, socio-cultural impact, and value generation. As an indication of the impact potential of a direct recovery program, we applied the scorecard methodology. We looked at the direct impact that such a scheme could have, and the larger systemic impact it could make on other industries.



We evaluated the potential of a direct recovery scheme in reducing impacts both directly and systemically, and recommended several key recommendations on how a recovery scheme could be set up to optimize high value material recovery and reuse.