In recent times carbon emissions and the effort to reduce our carbon footprint has been high on the government's agenda due to its effect on the environment, as often demonstrated by pictures of polar bears on melting ice shelves, like the one below.
The majority of us have strong opinions on the matter, not only due to the apparent effect this is having on the environment around us, but the impact this is having closer to home on our pockets due to rise in the cost of things like road tax.
Coupled with this, we have also seen a dramatic rise in the cost of petrol and household gas and electricity as the levels of these reserves come to an all-time low and we seek new ways of producing energy that is both renewable and cost effective.
The connector industry has been significantly affected recently by the increase in the price of raw materials, with companies looking to ‘cost down’ due to the economic climate and the need to reduce waste and lower our carbon footprint.
In response to this some connector and cable manufacturers have responded by tweaking a particular product or introducing a new system. One that springs to mind is the Harting – Han Eco series. This series has been introduced as a plastic alternative to the normally 100% metal Harting Han connector system and caters for customers who wish to take advantage of the weight and cost reduction that comes with the change in material.
Also, Alpha Wire, a huge manufacturer of cable and cable accessories, has introduced an ‘Eco’ version of their ‘hook-up’ wire known as ‘Eco-Wire’ which offers numerous advantages over the standard versions due to it being fully recyclable, up to 45% smaller in diameter and up to 40% lighter.
The question now is whether we are going to see this movement catch on, and with the introduction of directives set out by the government such as ‘Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment’ (WEEE) for manufacturers of electrical equipment, this is more than likely. The WEEE Directive seeks to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic equipment being produced and to encourage everyone to reuse, recycle and recover it.