Faced with classic chargers and cables for fragile smartphones and with a limited lifespan, the French brand Green_e opposes its eco-designed accessories guaranteed for 10 years.
Founded in 2015, Green_e goes to the end of its process by providing pre-franked envelopes for the return and recycling of end-of-life equipment.
All that remains is to relocate part of its production, still under the Chinese flag, so that its approach is even more virtuous.
“Green_e, the benchmark for ecological cables”, can be read in the introduction on the manufacturer's website.
If the notion of cable and ecology may seem quite contradictory, the Green_e brand nevertheless tries to shake things up.
Cables, wired chargers for smartphones… the Breton company wants to show that it is possible to do better for the planet.
How does she do it?
"Nobody cared about ecology"
Green_e was born in 2015, on the ashes of COP21.
Guillaume Bensi, its founder, confesses that he has little ecological awareness at the base.
But for this accessories seller (for Hitachi, Maxell…), it was time to repent.
“Everything we sold was not very beautiful,” he admits today.
"And the stakes were high: nobody cared about ecology", adds the boss who launched in 2017 with Orange his first eco-designed cables.
The idea at the time was not to offer cables that could end their career in a composter (which is absolutely impossible!), But to find the best possible balance between electronic requirements and the environment.
“Our products were a little more expensive and orders were limited,” recalls Guillaume Bensi.
Until 2020, Carrefour lists 17 Green_e products.
In the meantime, spirits had awakened and more and more consumers were looking for more eco-responsible accessories for their smartphones.
From manufacturing to recycling
The idea of Green_e is transversal.
From factory to recycling.
“In manufacturing, a Green_e cable is twice as expensive as a conventional cable,” explains Guillaume Bensi.
Eco-designed, made from recycled or recyclable materials, in elastomeric thermoplastic instead of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), they are extremely resistant.
Their strapping (the part that encircles the USB or Lighting socket) is made of zinc, which is much more durable than that of the majority of cables which favors plastic, which is more economical but also more fragile.
Thus, Green_e cables are advertised as recyclable for life, but also guaranteed for 10 years!
10 years ?
A hell of a kick in the anthill of more classic cables that often have to be replaced after just a few months because of stripped plug.
Cherry on the techno: a small cotton storage bag is provided.
For their part, the chargers offered by Green_e have a casing made of 30% recycled materials.
"Beyond that, it breaks", specifies the boss of Green_e.
Their printed circuit is hung by two clamps and fixed on a rail.
Thus, it is not complicated at the time of recycling to disassemble the product to separate its components.
Finally, their charging efficiency is Level 6. This supposes that when left connected to the mains, their power consumption is only 0.001 watts, against 0.66 watts for the usual Level 5 cables.
For the moment still manufactured in China, Green_e products are compensated thanks to a partnership with ecotree.
“Every month, we buy 70 trees,” explains Guillaume Bensi.
On the ecotree site, it is specified that Green_e has already planted 955 trees in France.
Returned, crushed, valued
But Green_e also wanted to go further by offering in each of its fully recyclable packaging (corn starch and wheat starch), a “T” return slip.
When the time comes, all you have to do is post your used cable at no cost so that it is taken to a recycling plant (in Belgium, so not too far ...).
And no need to wait for the Green_e cable to be out of order.
All old cables, even other brands, are accepted.
“They will then be crushed and their material recovered.
PVC, steel, palladium, gold, zinc, everything will be recovered.
The value of these returns pays the cost of the stamp, ”explains Guillaume Bensi.
A virtuous model in a way, with, in filigree, a zero waste spirit.
According to our information, Green_e sold 106,000 cables last year, but only 11,000 were returned.
This gives an idea of the evangelization work that the brand must do ...
The price of sustainable
There remains the question of the selling price.
More expensive to manufacture, Green_e products however try to stay within a consistent price list compared to other products on the market.
A 35 W charger that can meet most expectations is sold for 39 euros by the brand.
It is a little more expensive than a conventional charger.
For its part, a charger with Lightning cable for iPhone / iPad Green_e costs 39 euros, against a similar model sold 49 euros at Belkin.
Like what… Carrefour, Amazon, Boulanger, Monoprix or Lyreco (specialist in office supplies) refer to Green_e products.
A sincere approach
Without a doubt, Green_e's philosophy rests on a solid and sincere foundation.
It remains for the manufacturer to improve even more of a carbon footprint necessarily impacted by an exclusively Chinese manufacture.
It remains for distribution to expand its proposals for this type of product.
But the public also remains to direct their purchases towards more virtuous equipment by perhaps freeing themselves from fashions, an exacerbated consumerist, the absolute quest for low prices,
for some as well, while keeping to the mind how his equipment will be treated when it reaches the end of its life.
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