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Kartell Is Releasing a Sustainable Version of Its Iconic Componibili Storage Units

The updated version of the legendary storage unit is constructed from a bioplastic made from agricultural waste.

Kartell bioplastic Componibili storage unit Photo: Courtesy of Kartell

An iconic piece of Italian furniture is getting a sustainable makeover.

Italian designer Kartell has announced a new version of its immensely popular Componibili storage unit made of biodegradable plastic, reports Dezeen. The updated, “fully sustainable” unit—a first for the company—is the result of a collaboration between the Noviglio-based company and Italian bioplastic producer, Bio-on.

The new Componibili is constructed entirely of a new bioplastic made from agricultural waste. Named CL, after Kartell President Claudio Luti, the material is made of natural polyesters called linear polyhydroxyalkanoates that are produced when farm waste is fermented by bacteria. While the company claims that the material will be resistant to breakdown by heat and water, they also promise it will be fully biodegradable on soil or in a body of water.

“Research is our mission and we continue to experiment in order to combine innovation and design,” Luti said in a statement. “We have worked with Bio-on to be able to offer our public a high-quality bioplastic product, and we have chosen to do it on one of our historic products [which is] among the most recognized in the world.”

As of press time, the company has yet to announce when the product will be available to the public and how much it will cost. While the original storage unit is available in a wide array of playful colors, the sustainable version will initially only be available in green, pink, taupe and yellow.

Created by Italian designer and Kartell co-founder Anna Castelli Ferrieri in 1969, the cylindrical storage unit was originally made of injection-molded ABS plastic. The design revolutionized modular furniture and inspired the company to introduce more consumer products made from the synthetic material, like the Louis Ghost chair and Bourgie lamp. It is now considered a classic of modern design and is even included as part of the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

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