A growing concern about the environment, and especially about waste and landfill, has spurred research into the design of more environmentally benign products. A dramatic reduction in environmental impact can be made by recycling. A critical issue in recycling is the separation of joints in the disassembly process. In product recycling (also referred to as reuse) non-destructive disassembly is desired, whereas in material recycling destructive disassembly is allowed (e.g., shredding). This has an impact on the selection of fasteners. In this paper, we provide an overview of the issues involved and specifically we evaluate the selection of fasteners in the context of product recycling, material recycling, and technical aspects as documented in the new German standard VDI 2243, “Designing Technical Products for Ease of Recycling – Fundamentals and Rules for Design”. The results of this evaluation provide insight in future areas of research and fastener selection models for life cycle design.

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