Built to Unbuild

Any technological advance has the power to make a million devices obsolete. It’s time to not just innovate how devices improve, but how they’re disposed of.

Instantly Obsolete

Electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and notebooks are made with more parts than ever before. At the same time, new, must-have devices are released almost daily. And that means consumers throw out more devices, more often. 

Old-School Assembly

Electronic devices from a decade ago weren’t only primitive in features; they were out of date when it came to sustainability, too. These flip-phones and notebooks were put together with many tiny screws. This made them labor intensive to disassemble and therefore difficult to rework and recycle. The result was that an unbelievable number of electronics, and their valuable components, ended up in landfills.

Sustainability: 3 Principle Approach

For an initiative to be holistically sustainable, it needs to balance the three aspects of sustainability.

How It Comes Together

3M’s Thermal Bonding Films (TBF) replace screws in electronic device manufacturing. Not only are TBFs just as strong as mechanical fasteners, they make many devices more sustainable. TBF can be debonded using a heat gun or oven. Now manufacturers can easily disassemble products for rework, and recyclers can separate a device’s materials that used to simply be thrown away.

“Sustainability is a catalyst for progress. 3M™ Thermal Bonding Films are just one example of how planning for a product’s entire life cycle can help manufacturers produce next generation devices that are both more effective, and more environmentally responsible.”

- Gayle Schueller

Vice President, Global Sustainability