At Panasonic, we believe three issues are limiting the growth of recycled resin use. The first issue is cost. Resources recovered from used home appliances are extremely low cost at the recovery stage. However, recycling these resources and reusing them in products requires technology development and capital investments. To increase the use of recycled resins, we need to ensure that the total costs of these resins are lower than the costs of virgin materials.
The second issue is product design premised on using recycled resins. When considering only the manufacturing process, using virgin materials keeps down costs and labor. However, as we shift our focus to our resource consumption, it is easy to imagine the prospect that we will not be able to use virgin materials for too much longer. To turn this risk into an opportunity and to realize a cycle from product to product, we need to shift to manufacturing that is premised on recycling and using recycled materials. Because we have promoted this idea to our design divisions, we are gradually moving toward a genuine approach to manufacturing that takes recycling into account.
For the third issue, we believe that it is necessary for manufacturers, retailers, national and local governments, consumers, and all other stakeholders to come together and alter how society as a whole thinks about recycling. Home appliances have their respective features. For instance, a television produces beautiful images, while an air conditioner manages the temperature of the air. Resins and other materials do not currently generate value for our customers. Thanks to the SDGs' reach in society, consumers believe that it is good to use recycled resins so as to not waste plastic resources. Earning praise from consumers and becoming their first choice is essential in operating a sustainable business. Moreover, when considering the global development of our resin recycling initiative, it is crucial that we build a recovery infrastructure in developing countries.