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Filamentive switch to sustainable, 100% recyclable cardboard reels for XL* filament products – a UK first

Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom – 26th August 2020 UK 3D printing filament brand, Filamentive, is proud to announce that all 2.3 kg 3D printing filament products will now feature a 100% recyclable cardboard reel.


According to EC data, the recycling rate for paper / cardboard packaging waste is more than 85%, making it the most recyclable material – thus minimising waste going to landfill and also enabling efficient recycling at the consumer level. 

With a clear focus on sustainability, Filamentive first pioneered sustainable packaging in early 2018 by switching to cardboard reels for all ≤1 kg products

At the time, engineering challenges prevented the creation of a ≥2 kg product cardboard spool. However, collaboration alongside the production partner and specialist reel manufacturer has overcome such challenges. The need for a cardboard reel for larger (≥2 kg) products isincreasingly important due to the proliferation of (commercial) 3D printing and ever-growing environmental awarness.

According to the Ultimaker Sentiment Index, the UK has 168,000 3D printers installed as of 2019. Aggregating this with Filamentive research which found the average 3D printer material usage to be 24 kg annually – the annual UK 3D printing plastic demand can be quantified as 4-million kg.  Whilst reel weights vary, it is clear that the quantity of reels required to meet market demand number in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

“For us, sustainability is not just about using recycled materials in the first instance; instead we need to consider the entire product lifecycle – enabling reuse / recycling of packaging [reels] in-line with Circular Economy principles. We were one of the first filament brands to do this in 2018 with our 1 kg cardboard spools and thankfully we have overcome engineering challenges to be the first UK brand to switch to sustainable cardboard reels for >2 kg 3D printing filament products also”.

Ravi Toor – Founder & Managing Director, Filamentive

Akin to the existing ≤1 kg cardboard reel, the new 2.3 kg version is strong, durable and fit-for-purpose, having been extensively tested for hundreds of hours with various 3D printers in a state-of-the-art production facility. 

The reel boasts a slimline form factor and is also 50% lighter than the equivalent 2.3 kg reel used previously. 

Furthermore, we have also implemented user feedback and added guide holes around the entire circumference of reel – making tangles less likely and simply reducing storage hassle.

Whilst at its core 3D printing is fundamentally less wasteful than traditional, subtractive manufacturing methods, the use of plastic as a feedstock has the potential to exacerbate the global plastic problem.

It is therefore imperative to pioneer sustainable solutions – with the reel itself being 10-15% of the net weight of the complete filament product, using 100% recyclable cardboard further minimises waste to landfill and reduces reliance on hard-to-recycle plastic.  

Please note: all 2.3kg products manufactured on / after 19th August 2020 will feature the cardboard reel. As we still hold stock of products spooled on plastic reels it is possible to receive both packaging during this transition period. Please see our updated Spool Dimensions Sheet for further information and guidance. 

* = 2.3 kg range. Our 8.5 kg line will still be spooled onto a recycled plastic reel.


Filamentive (https://filamentive.com – info@filamentive.com) is the market leader in sustainable materials for FFF 3D Printing. The company was founded to address the environmental need to use more recycled plastics in 3D printing, and also alleviate market concerns over quality and long-term sustainability. Filamentive has experienced rapid growth and continues to address the questions surrounding 3D printing recycled materials. Headquartered in Bradford, United Kingdom, its customers include a global network of makers, industry and education clients.

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