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 350 designated collection sites (shared with "Groups A and B") and 32 recycling facilities, on behalf of the "Group A" manufacturers (18 companies including Panasonic). Our recycling factories, Panasonic Eco Technology Center Co., Ltd. (PETEC), Panasonic Eco Technology Kanto Co., Ltd. (PETECK), and Chubu Eco Technology Co., Ltd. (CETEC)*1 conduct unique research to improve our recycling processes for more efficient treatment of the four kinds of home appliances*2 and for the recovery and supply of more resources. In fiscal 2016, we recycled approx. 115,000 tons of the four specified home appliances.

Amendment of the Home Appliance Recycling Law was considered in 2014 in order to make recycling charges clearer and lower, as well as to improve recycling rates.*3 As a result, the statutory recycling rate*4 was revised in April 2015. Panasonic recycling factories are working to further enhance resource recycling by improving the productivity and recycling rates through efforts of applying different recycling methods according to the characteristics and materials of products.

*1 PETECK and CETEC are joint ventures between Mitsubishi Materials Corporation and Panasonic.
*2 Air conditioners, TVs, refrigerators/freezers, and washing machines/clothes dryers
*3 Recycling rate = Valuable resource weight/Total weight of used home appliances.
*4 The amended statutory recycling rates are at least: 80% for air conditioners, 55% for CRT TVs, 74% for LCD and plasma TVs, 70% for refrigerators and freezers, and 82% for washing machines and clothes dryers.

For Designing Products of Easy Recycling

Designing products that can be easily recycled is essential to achieving a high recycling rate,*5 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.

In addition, "Recycling-related items regarding the product main unit" (weight reduction, recyclability rate, ease of sorting, and long-term use) and "Recycling-related items regarding packaging" (recyclability rate, ease of sorting, and weight/volume reduction) have been set as assessment items in the Product Environment Assessment that we adopt and use in order to ensure environmental consciousness in the planning/designing stages of our products. By assessing the level of improvement from basic products, we pursue development of easy-to-recycle products.

*5 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 entered into force in August 2012.

Country

Return Ratios*6 based on market share

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

U.K.

75%

90%

94%

92%

85%

73%

Germany

56%

57%

44%

17%

20%

20%

Italy

37%

72%

97%

88%

66%

63%

Spain

24%

34%

39%

41%

47%

50%

Portugal

N/A

N/A

36%

38%

38%

41%

France

62%

76%

81%

81%

82%

88%

Czech

71%

87%

77%

77%

79%

78%

Poland

35%

36%

53%

53%

53%

54%

Slovakia

45%

11%

54%

54%

62%

65%

Hungary

49%

33%

50%

56%

46%

49%

Belgium

107%

107%

107%

107%

102%

93%

Norway

104%

78%

62%

73%

58%

41%

Sweden

42%

46%

44%

72%

71%

70%

Finland

N/A

N/A

45%

48%

50%

51%

Denmark

90%

94%

130%

115%

64%

72%

Ireland

31%

50%

40%

39%

52%

50%

Austria

82%

91%

95%

99%

98%

100%

Netherlands

77%

78%

100%

104%

104%

86%

Total Panasonic WEEE collection volume for Europe

56,078
tons

58,301
tons

48,498
tons

40,459
tons

33,503
tons

30,682
tons

*6 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.

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. 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.

North America

Panasonic continues to play a leadership role in developing recycling infrastructure across the United State and Canada, mainly through MRM (Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company, LLC), which we joined with Sharp Electronics Corporation and Toshiba America Information Systems Company to establish in 2007, MRM is tasked with bring manufacturers together into a collaborative effort to provide convenient and environmentally sound collection and recycling to consumers. MRM now provides collection and recycling for over 40 manufacturers, including Panasonic.

Panasonic collection results:

Total Panasonic electronic product collection volume (USA, FY-2016)

7,167 tons

Cumulative electronic product collection volume (USA)

85,466 tons

Note: This result is the cumulative total of Panasonic's voluntary and mandatory collections as of March 31, 2016.

MRM cumulative collection results: Approx. 300,000 tons as of May 31, 2016.
Please see here for additional details on MRM and its programs.

In Canada, Panasonic manages its commitment to responsible recycling through Industry funded independent non-profit organizations (IFOs). In the provinces with WEEE regulations Panasonic has been instrumental in the planning and development of these organization and to this day actively participates in the governance of these IFO's. With a total of over 2,200 collection sites across Canada they were able to divert 146,423MT of e-waste in 2014, thus bringing the cumulative electronic product collection volume, since the launch of these programs, to 658,819MT. Unlike the United States, Canada does not separate their recycling by manufacture as all e-waste is handled as a collective, so Panasonic specific collection volumes are not available.
Plain Paper and Packaging Recycling Unique to Canada The Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance Inc. (CSSA) represents the recycling interests of Retailer and Manufacturers, creating convenient environmentally sustainable ways for consumers to dispose of the paper, and packaging from products sold into the Canadian market—from paper, to cardboard, Styrofoam to plastics. CSSA is a national, non-profit organization managing the compliance requirements of stewards for the regulated provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.

Country State/Province Recycling Organization Information Products Covered
Canada Alberta New window:ARMA - Alberta Recycling Management Authority TV, PC, monitors, printers and fax machines
Saskatchewan New window:EPRA Saskatchewan TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, home & portable audio video, Car audio video and selected telecom
British Columbia New window:EPRA - British Columbia TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, photocopiers, Batteries, home & portable audio video, Car audio video, selected telecom, and peripherals.
New window:Major Appliance Recycling Roundtable Major Appliances
New window:CESA – Canadian Electrical Stewardship Association Small Appliances, Microwave Ovens, Power tools, Exercise Equipment
Nova Scotia New window:EPRA – Nova Scotia TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, home & portable audio video, Car audio video and selected telecom
Ontario New window:Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, photocopiers, Batteries, home & portable audio video, Car audio video, selected telecom, and disk drives/peripherals.
Quebec New window:EPRA/ARPE - Quebec TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, photocopiers, Batteries, home & portable audio video, Car audio video, selected telecom, and peripherals.
Manitoba New window:EPRA - Manitoba TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, photocopiers, Batteries, home & portable audio video, Car audio video and selected telecom,
Newfoundland New window:EPRA – Newfoundland TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, home & portable audio video, Car audio video and selected telecom
Prince Edward Island New window:EPRA – PEI TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, home & portable audio video, Car audio video and selected telecom
Northwest Territories New window:Rethink-it Northwest Territories - Managed by ARMA TV, PC, monitors, printers and floor standing photocopiers

Battery Recycling

With the establishment of the Call2Recycle Rechargeable Battery Recycling Program in 1994, Panasonic has also distinguished itself as a leader in U.S. and Canadian efforts to collect and recycle batteries.

Starting with Ni-Cd (Nickel Cadmium) and SSLA (Small Sealed Lead Acid) batteries in 1994, the Call2Recycle Program has grown over the years to add both Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride) and Li-ion batteries across the U.S and Canada. Call2Recycle also collects primary batteries in several Canadian provinces and began a primary battery collection program in Vermont in 2016 on behalf of the world's leading primary battery manufacturers.

Today, the Call2Recycle Program supports over 30,000 collection locations across the U.S. and Canada. Cumulative battery collection and recycling now exceed 52,700 tons and 2015 collections were 5,700 tons.

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.

China

The Regulation for the Management of Recycling and Disposal of Waste Electrical and Electronic Products was enforced in January 2011. With this background, we established a joint recycling company in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, with a Chinese company, and its operation started in February 2014. This new company aims at becoming an advanced model for home appliance recycling in China in accordance with the above regulation. Utilizing the methods of advanced and practical technology and a contemporary control system that have developed through our recycling business in Japan for over 15 years, the company engages in collecting and disassembling used appliances as well as selling resources from used appliances. The volume of recycled home appliances in fiscal 2016 reached 550,000 units.

In February 2015, Chinese government revised Treatment Catalogue of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, and it came into effect on March 1st, 2016. In response to the increase of product categories subject to the new policy from 5 to 14, the company plans to expand the recycling business to wider industrial areas. Through these businesses, the company aims to contribute to environmental conservation and the effective use of resources in the country.

Southeast Asia and Oceania

Australia

The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme was established in Australia in 2011, and it aims to increase the recycling rates of televisions and computers to 50% from July 1, 2015 and 80% in 2026-2027. Panasonic Australia is a member of the Electronic Product Stewardship Australasia (EPSA), a co-regulatory arrangement approved by the Australian Government to fulfill our obligation under the national scheme. Below are the recycling-related data for televisions and computers from 2012–2015:

Period Collection Rate (Volume)
July 2012 – June 2013 30% (1,452 tons)
July 2013 – June 2014 33% (1,052 tons)
July 2014 – June 2015 35% (1,166 tons)

Singapore

Heartland E-waste Recycling Programme is a voluntary activity in Singapore that serves as an integrated platform for proper recycling of home appliances and electronic waste. The program is designed based on the shared responsibility concept among manufacturers, recyclers, retailers, local communities, and the government. In the 12 months from February 2015 through January 2016, approximately 3,000 home appliances and electronic waste, weighing over 8,700 kg in total, were collected at 76 collection points in 7 neighborhoods in Southeast Singapore. In addition, Heartland E-waste Recycling Programme also contributed to raising recycling awareness among the community with close to 500 student volunteers conducting house visits to more than 20,000 households in Southeast Singapore.

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 equipment 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 378 collection points in 23 states 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