Environment:Details of Regional Report

eco ideas

Japan

Used Product Recycling in Japan

In response to the Home Appliance Recycling Law of 2001, which covers four specified kinds of home appliances, we established Ecology Net Co., Ltd. jointly with Toshiba Corporation, which manages a geographically dispersed recycling network through the effective use of existing recycling facilities nationwide. The recycling management company operates all the recycling-related services, which includes supervising 373 designated collection sites and 36 recycling facilities, on behalf of the "Group A" manufacturers (22 companies including Panasonic). Our recycling factories, Panasonic Eco Technology Center Co., Ltd. (PETEC) and Panasonic Eco Technology Kanto Co., Ltd. (PETECK), conduct unique research to improve our recycling processes for more efficient treatment of the four kinds of home appliances*1 and for the recovery and supply of more resources. In fiscal 2013, we recycled approx. 113 thousand tons of the four specified home appliances.

*1 Air conditioners, TVs, refrigerators/freezers, and washing machines/clothes dryers.

For Designing Products of Easy Recycling

Designing products that can be easily recycled is essential to achieving a high recycling rate,*2 quickly and at a low cost. Toward this end, it is important to identify how products should be improved. Panasonic product designers are currently working on that issue. Individual products are made up of a variety of components. The designers themselves are performing dismantling tests on existing products and prototypes to investigate how long it takes to dismantle each component, as well as the quality and weight of the components. Panasonic has developed software that easily calculates the recycling rate and cost based on these data, and is utilizing this information to improve the recycling rate, starting from the design phase.

The test dismantling of products has already been completed on about 140 models, and we are accumulating data on recycling technology and know-how.

*2 Recycling rate; The Japanese Law for Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances defines this as "weight of components and materials that can be sold or are transferable without charge / product weight."

Mobile Recycle Network

In Japan, Panasonic engages in independent mobile phone collection and recycling initiatives through the Mobile Recycle Network, a group made up of carriers and mobile phone manufacturers.

Europe

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive took effect in 2005, and requires producers to take back and recycle waste electrical and electronic items. Additionally, it requires that producers mark items to show consumers that they should not be discarded with general domestic waste, and to provide advice to consumers on suitable disposal options. Panasonic has proactively developed solutions to all these requirements.
In December 2008, the European Commission proposed to revise the WEEE directive (WEEE Recast) in order to tackle the fast increasing waste stream of products. The aim is to increase the amount of e-waste that is appropriately treated and to reduce the volume that goes to disposal. The WEEE Recast enters into force in August 2012 and has to be implemented in the EU Member States by the beginning of 2014 at the latest.


Country Return Ratios*3 based on market share
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
U.K. 35% 54% 68% 75% 90%
Germany 60% 52% 55% 56% 57%
Italy N/A 13% 21% 37% 72%
Spain 14% 22% 24% 24% 34%
France 20% 32% 44% 62% 76%
Czech 32% 39% 64% 71% 87%
Poland 20% 20% 25% 35% 36%
Slovakia 45% 23% 33% 45% 11%
Hungary 26% 34% 25% 49% 33%
Belgium 41% 39% 109% 107% 107%
Norway 45% N/A 84% 104% 78%
Sweden 55% N/A 48% 42% 46%
Romania N/A N/A N/A 45% 34%
Denmark 47% N/A 126% 90% 94%
Ireland 26% 32% 42% 31% 50%
Austria 47% 46% 82% 82% 91%
Netherlands 51% 53% 52% 77% 78%
 
Total Panasonic WEEE collection volume for Europe 25,552 tons 37,069 tons 52,203 tons 56,078 tons 58,301 tons

*3 Return Ratio: WEEE collection volume/EEE put on the market

The return ratio has been calculated for collected amounts for which Panasonic is financially responsible based on its market share.

EcologyNet Europe (ENE)

Since 2000 Panasonic has been amassing much recycling management know-how and technological expertise in Japan including our recycling facility, Panasonic Eco Technology Center Co., Ltd., (PETEC) . We knew this expertise would be a valuable addition to the European recycling industry. Accordingly, we established ENE EcologyNet Europe GmbH (ENE) in April 2005 with the view that our expertise accumulated in Japan would be useful. As a subsidiary of Panasonic, the same quality and highly-ecological standards are applied to ENE's operations. Initially focusing on the recycling of WEEE in Germany, ENE meets all the legal, transport and recycling obligations for Panasonic and the partner producers who choose to use ENE to meet their WEEE obligations.

Notebook PC Recycling

We have established our own-brand computer take-back system across Europe, which is primarily a business-to-business market for Panasonic. This take-back system involves our European recycling subsidiary, EcologyNet Europe, thereby ensuring the quality of the whole recycling process, and eliminating the risk of any illegal waste dumping in under-developed countries, which is a current concern to the electronics industry. Based on our Notebook recycling schemes operating in North America, Europe and Japan, this means that Panasonic offers recycling solutions covering 95% of the entire Group's global sales volume of computers.

A Country by Country Approach

Panasonic has a very diverse product range in Europe. To manage our WEEE compliance across the EU, it has been our policy to register directly with appropriate recycling schemes in countries where we have legal company presence. Elsewhere, we work with our distributors to ensure that responsibilities are managed locally. We apply the same approach to battery recycling; we are also members of numerous systems in various European countries. By clicking on each of the schemes listed below, you will learn more about their activities. Many also give guidance on how to recycle your electronic products in each country.

Note: Details of Panasonic affiliated WEEE recycling schemes by country are as follows. Some of the websites may only be available in the local language.


Austria Interseroh Norway El:Retur
Belgium Recupel Bulgaria Ecobultex
Czech Elektrowin
Asekol
Luxembourg ECOTREL
Denmark Elretur Netherlands Wecycle
ICT Milieu
Finland SERTY ry Poland ElektroEko
France Eco-Systemes Portugal Amb3E
Germany EcologyNet Europe [ENE] Slovakia Asekol SK
Greece Recycling of Appliances SA Spain Tragamovil
ECOFIMATICA
Ecotic
Ambilamp
Slovenia ZEOS Sweden El Kretsen
Ireland WEEE Ireland Switzerland Swico
SENS
Italy Remedia UK REPIC

Toner Cartridge Recycling

In 2011, Panasonic Systems Communications Europe (PSCEU), a division of Panasonic Marketing Europe GmbH, expanded its European recycling program for used toner cartridges through setting up a web-based return process for all European countries (except for Greece and Italy where other solutions are currently under consideration).

Americas

Panasonic continues to play a leadership role in developing recycling infrastructure across the United State and Canada, both with our Panasonic national voluntary program and our efforts within the electronic industry.

Total Panasonic electronic product collection volume (USA, 2011)

13,727 tons

Cumulative electronic product collection volume (USA)

30,103 tons

*4 This result is the cumulative total of Panasonic's voluntary and mandatory collections as of June, 2012.

Panasonic Established the Leading Electronic Product Stewardship Organization in the US

Panasonic North America has led the establishment of a dedicated recycling management company in a joint venture with Sharp Electronics Corporation and Toshiba America Consumer Products LLC. Called Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company, LLC (MRM), the company's goal is to provide consumers with convenient and responsible recycling opportunities.

MRM has emerged as the country's leading electronic product stewardship organization representing 40 brands and operating comprehensive programs in 20 states with manufacturer collection mandates, including Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. MRM is also developing a manufacturer stewardship program for Texas, who's TV recycling law takes effect from January, 2013. Panasonic believes that collaborative manufacturer plans such as MRM is now operating are the best way to achieve the economies of scale needed to realize consumer convenience and environmentally sustainable recycling. Since its inception MRM has collected and recycled 90,909 tons of electronic products. Additional information is available at MRM.

Furthermore, we have proactively worked on recycling solutions in all the states and provinces across North America as listed below. By clicking on each recycling organization's link, you can gain access to information on how to dispose of unwanted electronics.

Panasonic Is Now Implementing A National Recycling Program for Panasonic Audio and Video Consumer Products in the United States

Continuing to demonstrate the Panasonic Group's commitment to responsible end-of-life solutions, Panasonic launched a nationwide program in November 2008 to collect and recycle audio and video consumer products across the United States.

Panasonic's goal for this program is consumer convenience and responsible recycling.
Panasonic now supports over 1500 collections sites nationwide, well on our way to achieving our goal of 1600 sites by the end of fiscal 2013. The Panasonic National Program is operated by MRM.


Country State/Province Recycling Organization Information Products Covered
United States of America California CA eRecycle and Panasonic Information TV, PC
Connecticut CT E-waste Program TV, PC, Printer
Hawaii MRM TV, PC, Printer
Illinois MRM TV, PC, Printer
Indiana MRM TV, PC
Maine Maine E-Waste Program TV, PC
Maryland eCycling in MD PC
Michigan MRM TV, PC
Minnesota MRM TV, PC
Missouri MRM PC
North Carolina MRM TV, PC
New Jersey MRM TV, PC
New York MRM TV, PC, Printer, other
Oklahoma MRM PC
Oregon MRM TV, PC
Pennsylvania MRM TV, PC, Printer
Rhode Island MRM PC
South Carolina MRM TV, PC, Printer
Texas MRM PC
Utah MRM TV, PC, Printer
Vermont Vermont program TV, PC, Printer
Virginia MRM PC
Washington WMMFA TV, PC
West Virginia MRM TV, PC
Wisconsin MRM TV, PC, Printer
Panasonic National Program (Operated by MRM) *****
Canada Alberta Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA) TV, PC, monitors, printers and fax machines
Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Waste Electronic Equipment Program(SWEEP) TV, PC, monitors, printers and fax
British Columbia Electronics Stewardship Association of British Columbia (ESABC) TV, PC, monitors, printers and fax
Nova Scotia Atlantic Canada Electronics Stewardship (ACES) TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, A/V and non-cellular telephones
Ontario Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax and disk drives

Battery Recycling

We set a precedent by playing a major role in the establishment of the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) in the United States in 1994, and exercising leadership therein. This organization collects and recycles Ni-Cd (nickel cadmium), Ni-MH (nickel metal hydride), lithium ion, lead rechargeable and other batteries used in electrical and electronic appliances from over 30,000 retailers across the United States and Canada. In 2011, RBRC collected and recycled 3,447, metric tons of rechargeable batteries across the US and Canada.

Notebook PC Recycling

Panasonic initiated its own dedicated computer take-back system in the US in 2006. Where units have a refurbishment value, we offer a buy-back program. Where units are no longer suitable for refurbishment, we offer free-recycling of any Panasonic laptop, to ensure their safe, environmentally responsible end-of-life management.

CEA eCycling Leadership Initiative

Panasonic was a founding member of the Consumer Electronics Association's eCycling Leadership Initiative. Launched in April, 2011, the Leadership Initiative is a voluntary effort by major electronic product manufacturers to increase recycling in the US to one billion pound annually (455,000 MT) by 2016, a three-fold increase from 2010 levels. This ground-breaking effort resulted in 208,652 MT of consumer electronic products being recycled in 2011, a 53 percent increase over the 136,077 MT recycled by manufacturers in 2010.

Toner Cartridge

Asia Pacific

China

The Regulation for the Management of Recycling and Disposal of Waste Electrical and Electronic Products was enforced in January 2011. Under this regulation, we established a joint recycling company in Hangzhou in November 2011 named Panasonic DADI DOWA Summit Recycling Hangzhou Co., Ltd., with Hangzhou DADI Environmental Protection Engineering Co., Ltd., DOWA Holdings Co., Ltd., and Sumitomo Corporation, and its operation is to start by the end of 2013. Based on the methods of advanced and practical technology and a contemporary control system that have been developing within the recycling industry in Japan for more than a decade, our new company will engage in the collection, disassembly, and sales of recycled materials extracted from used appliances in accordance with the above regulation with the aim of becoming an advanced model for home appliance recycling in China. Through these efforts, the company will contribute to environmental conservation and the effective use of resources in the country.

Main entrance of Panasonic DADI DOWA Summit Recycling Hangzhou Co., Ltd.

Main entrance of Panasonic DADI DOWA Summit Recycling Hangzhou Co., Ltd.

Korea

In the Republic of Korea, we take on the expenses of recycling PC and battery in accordance with the Manufacturer Responsibility Reapplication System. Panasonic's recycling data for 2011 is provided as follows.

Waste Recycled (unit : ton)

PC

0.01

Battery

53.2

Australia

Air Conditioning Refrigerant

Under the requirements of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989, Panasonic has a responsibility to hold membership of an approved Product Stewardship Scheme in relation to the end-of-life recycling of the refrigerant in the products it imports into Australia. Panasonic pays a levy for each kg of refrigerant imported.

TV and Computer Recycling

Panasonic Australia was a Foundation Member of Product Stewardship Australia, a not-for-profit organisation which is working with the Australian Government and the Computer Industry to implement a National Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme. The Scheme is due to come into effect in July 2012 and aims to increase recycling rates of televisions and computers to more than 80% by 2020-21. Panasonic recently joined ANZRP (Australian and New Zealand Recycling Platform), a group who has been accredited as an approved recycler for the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme.

India

Panasonic India embarked on a mission to understand the recycling landscape of India in 2009. This exercise involved recycler surveys across the country, discussions with NGOs and industry organizations, understanding of actual recycling statuses in India, due diligence to select a recycler to commence a voluntary recycling program, and attending various forums on e-waste.
May 1, 2012, E-Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011 entered into effect in India. Under the regulation, producers of electronics and IT equipments are responsible to establish a mechanism for collecting its end-of-life products on the basis of EPR and ensure those e-wastes are channelized to registered recyclers and dismantlers.
In response to this, PI initiated Panasonic's comprehensive e-waste recycling program "I RECYCLE" on May 1, 2012 on a full scale, replacing its existing "Voluntary End-of-Life Recycling Program." Currently, Panasonic India has set up and operates the scheme with 76 collection points in 10 cities and provides a toll-free number for customers to recycle Panasonic's end-of-life products. Locations of the collection points and recycling factories can be found by clicking here and here respectively, and click here for other information on recycling.

The letter "I" will make a connection with our eco tag line "I am doing my bit," which will help the consumer easily relate to the green initiatives by our company