Popular Belkin chargers to use recycled plastics in company’s 40th year

Belkin chargers PCR plastics sustainability announcement
A behind-the-scenes look at Belkin's design lab, where the company is transitioning to PCR materials in its products. Source: supplied

Sustainability is a big focus for many companies during CES 2023, and well-known tech accessory brand Belkin is no exception. To commemorate the company’s 40th anniversary, many Belkin chargers and power banks will soon use recycled plastics to significantly reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing. 

More specifically, throughout 2023, multiple chargers and power banks will be made from between 73-75% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics, along with plastic-free packaging. From a user perspective, the changes to the end product will be near-imperceptible, beyond updated packaging and labels like “Made with Recycled Plastic Products”. Through doing this, Belkin’s numbers suggest it will save 7,000 metric tons of carbon emissions and reduce equivalent emissions produced by affected products by 67%. 

Belkin charger PCR comparison
On the left, the original 25W charger design, with the PCR design on the right

During the first half of 2023, the following Belkin chargers and devices will ship with the updated PCR plastics design: 

Two years of development went into transitioning the chargers towards their more eco-friendly design. As part of the PCR process, plastics that would originally go to landfill are instead saved for future use. Additionally, as part of the wider sustainability strategy, there’s a reduced reliance on creating new plastic in the first place. 

CEO Steve Malony explains Belkin chargers’ sustainable shift 

In late 2022, Malony visited Australia for the first time since taking on the CEO role in 2021, to kick off Belkin’s 40th anniversary celebrations. Here, he shared why the company is getting into PCR material-made products now. 

“We care about community and education, we care about research and development technology; the third pillar that we really think about a lot is sustainability,” Malony said. “It’s because it’s in our DNA, it’s because we care about it.” 

“We understand that we all have a part to play in our environment and helping stop climate change, and impacting things in a positive way.” 

Belkin CEO Steve Malony
Belkin CEO Steve Malony. Source: supplied

Shortly after beginning as CEO after a lengthy career working his way up from Belkin’s sales department, one of Malony’s first acts was to form a sustainability committee to shape the company’s future direction. From here, his team identified which of Belkin’s top-selling power products could be made more sustainably, therefore making the most positive environmental impact. This is why the six products in question are their starting point, being among the most-shipped devices. 

Initially, the sustainability team floated a goal of making the products with 50% PCR materials. However, this was quickly abandoned in favour of the 75% upper bracket due to a desire rapidly push development. 

When asked about sustainability regarding phone cases and screen protectors, another major category Belkin specialises in, Malony conceded there’s more work to be done. In particular, recycling programs for obsolete phone accessories. 

“We need to do more in that area,” he said. “We’re doing some things today where people can send products back to us, but there is more to be done.” 

“We partner with our retail partners where things are recycled, we recycle things in our own offices, but I think over time we need to find better practices and better ways to be able to make sure that the entire lifecycle is contributing the right way.” 

More than merely a corporate strategic obligation to mark off, sustainability is something Malony sees as part of Belkin’s greater vision to “establish a foundation for [Belkin’s] success for the next 40 years”. Much of this revolves around continuing product innovation and giving back to communities, with sustainability a key component. Business growth is one thing, but corporate success in the 21st century requires a greater focus on people, as Belkin’s CEO makes clear. 

“I want my legacy at Belkin to be one where we made a difference in the world.” 

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