Panasonic continues its leadership role in establishing and operating a recycling system for waste batteries and consumer electronic products in North America. Following the start-up of a state recycling law in Minnesota in July 2007, we established the Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company, LLC (MRM), jointly with Toshiba Corporation and Sharp Corporation in September of the same year, and began recycling TVs, PCs, and other electronic equipment.
With collaborative ties to several recycling companies, MRM operates collection programs on behalf of 40 companies across 20 states. MRM has collected approximately 340,592 tons since its inception in 2007. With the changes in Panasonic’s business strategies in the US in 2016, our remaining collection obligations are de-minimis, MRM will continue operating its collection programs on behalf of the manufacturers it serves.
As for waste batteries, we established Call2Recycle in 1994 jointly with other battery manufacturers, and now provide recycling programs for rechargeable batteries throughout the US and Canada. Call2Recycle provides collection programs and a robust retail collection network for over 300 companies, and collected approx. 6,386 tons of rechargeable batteries in the U.S. and Canada.
Recycling end-of-life products in Canada started in 2004 with the Alberta Government Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulation. Since then a total of 10 provinces and two territories have legislated WEEE, each with their own unique parameters and requirements. In an effort to harmonize these programs, Panasonic Canada takes active role in the governance of the Electronic Product Recycling Association, a not-for-profit management organization which was established with the mandate to standardize operations and bring about economies of scale on a national basis through 2,200 collection sites. They are now responsible for managing all the provincial programs with the exception of Alberta and the two territories, as these three programs are under the direct jurisdictions of their governments and not industry. The currently active provincial EPR programs have proven to be very effective in diverting e-waste as reflected in last year’s totals, where 127,122 tons were collected and resulted in an average of 3.57 kg per capita in Canada.
These numbers reflect the ongoing trend of light weighting of our products and the reduction in the number of heavy CRT televisions entering the end-of-life waste stream. In 2017, New Brunswick province and Yukon territory will launch their end-of-life recycling program leaving only the territory of Nunavut to legislate e-waste.