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What does sustainability look like? At Miele X, we believe in putting it into action, with events like our recent clean-up of Zandvoort beach in the Netherlands. In collaboration with Bye Bye Plastic, a disruptive foundation devoted to removing single-use plastics, a group of 80 volunteers from Miele X collected 60kg of trash in just 90 minutes.
But it doesn’t end there. In line with Miele X’s commitment to sustainability, some of the trash we collected is going to be upcycled into furniture for our new offices at Valley in Amsterdam. We talked to some of the people involved about the event.
Jouvence Monteiro, Global Country Success Manager at Miele X explained that she felt it was important for everyone to get involved together. "We need to take care of the beach," she said. And she's right. According to a 2022 report by science journal Nature, around 11 million tons of plastic goes into our oceans each year. And because it breaks down into minute microplastics, it soon makes its way into the food chain.
Sustainability is a key objective for Miele, including a sharper focus on recyclability, repairability and resource efficiency in the way we make our products. That’s why, on a sunny spring afternoon, 80 people gathered on Zandvoort beach with one aim – to clean up as much plastic as possible in 90 minutes.
Seven teams of people, armed with bags and grabber sticks, searched the beach and surrounding areas for any piece of litter they could find. As Malte Blumenthal, one of the volunteers and Vice President of Global Ecommerce at Miele X said: “In the long run, it’s all about sustainability and that’s why we need to connect and make it real. It's about identifying the real challenges and creating leading sustainable solutions for our industry. Once we experience what's happening to nature right in front of our homes, we can understand the importance of our daily choices. And that's what we are doing today, in a really great atmosphere.”
In just an hour and a half, they gathered up 60kg of trash. And the variety of trash was staggering – from mattress foam to food wrappers, straws and lollipop sticks to fishing nets. Stacey Ioannou, Management Assistant in Operations at Miele X, commented: “It was a really amazing effort here today... I’m looking forward to many more days like this.”
Once they’d collected the trash, they started on the important job of sorting it all into recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Some of the recyclable trash was sent to Juttersgeluk, a foundation dedicated to upcycling beach waste into sustainable design products, so it could be turned into office furniture for the new Miele offices, while the rest was sent to waste collection points.
Finally, the team gathered for food and music, before they each left with a sustainable reward for their efforts – a second-life plant. Miele X MD, Curt Simon Harlinghausen summed up the importance of events like this: “Our 'Immer besser' philosophy means we always try to be better in everything we do - for sure sustainability is on top of our focus," he said. "By consistently making more sustainable choices and initiatives, like buying used furniture for new our office, we can contribute towards creating a positive impact on the world around us. So, I’m really happy that we organised today and raised further awareness of this important cause.”
What’s next? You decide.
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