Environment: Details of Regional Product Recycling Initiatives

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Japan

In response to the Home Appliance Recycling Law of 2001, which covers four specified kinds of home appliances*1, manufacturers were grouped into two groups, Group A and Group B, to collect and recycle the four specified kinds of used home appliances. Panasonic belongs to Group A, and to work on recycling, it has established Ecology Net Co., Ltd. jointly with Toshiba Corporation to operate and manage a geographically dispersed recycling network through the effective use of existing recycling facilities nationwide. This management company supervises 327 designated collection sites (shared by "Group A" and "Group B") and 30 recycling plants, based on consignment from Group A manufacturers (16 companies including Panasonic). Additionally, Panasonic invests in Panasonic Eco Technology Center Co., Ltd. (PETEC), Panasonic Eco Technology Kanto Co., Ltd. (PETECK), and Chubu Eco Technology Co., Ltd. (CETEC)*2 and exchanges information with product manufacturing divisions to develop easy-to-recycle designs, as well as conducts research and development to efficiently recover and supply more resources. In fiscal 2021, we recycled approx. 176.62 kt of the four specified used home appliances.

Although the statutory recycling rate*3 is being raised in phases, Panasonic recycling factories have been achieving recycling rates higher than the legal requirement by reviewing and improving recycling equipment and processes in view of the characteristics and materials of respective products.

In the summer of 2019, PETECK automated a part of its air conditioner processing line, using an articulated robot to turn over and transfer air conditioner outdoor units during the dismantling process. The recognition device identifies the position and size of the outdoor unit, and based on the identified information the articulated robot picks up and moves the unit to the standard dismantling process or to the process for dismantling special items such as window-type units. This has enabled safe and efficient air conditioner processing, relieving workers of dangerous dismantling work that had also required physical strength to turn outdoor units (weighing 33 kg in average) upside down.

In addition, PETEC has developed and introduced an equipment using near-infrared identification technology that simultaneously sorts and recovers three types of plastics (PP, PS, and ABS)*4 at a purity of over 99%. This has enabled PETEC to recover high-quality, single plastics and further enhance efforts for plastic recycling.

*1 Air conditioners, TVs, refrigerators/freezers, and washing machines/clothes dryers.
*2 PETEC is a company fully invested by Panasonic, and PETECK and CETEC are joint ventures between Mitsubishi Materials Corporation and Panasonic.
*3 Statutory Recycling rate = Recycling rate specified by law (Valuable resource weight/Total weight of used home appliances). The statutory recycling rates were raised in 2009 and 2015, and are currently 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.
*4 Plastic materials: Polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)

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.
The revised WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU entered into force in August 2012, aiming to increase the amount of e-waste that is appropriately treated and to reduce the volume that goes to disposal.

The following table provides an overview for calendar years 2010 until 2020 for Panasonic’s "WEEE return ratios" which is the percentage of the WEEE collected to the EEE put on the market.

Country

Return Ratios*5 based on market share

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

UK

75%

90%

94%

92%

85%

73%

74%

59%

54%

57%

50%

Germany

56%

57%

44%

17%

20%

20%

39%

43%

36%

47%

38%

Italy

37%

72%

97%

88%

66%

63%

42%

51%

49%

46%

49%

Spain

24%

34%

39%

41%

47%

50%

45%

43%

41%

41%

30%

Portugal

N/A

N/A

36%

38%

38%

41%

54%

52%

39%

31%

20%

France

62%

76%

81%

81%

82%

88%

90%

108%

89%

76%

58%

Czech Republic

71%

87%

77%

77%

79%

78%

70%

68%

41%

51%

77%

Poland

35%

36%

53%

53%

53%

54%

54%

40%

50%

60%

34%

Slovakia

45%

11%

54%

54%

62%

65%

48%

56%

30%

28%

48%

Hungary

49%

33%

50%

56%

46%

49%

61%

57%

50%

52%

52%

Belgium

107%

107%

107%

107%

102%

93%

93%

93%

94%

94%

54%

Norway

104%

78%

62%

73%

58%

41%

44%

30%

25%

50%

51%

Sweden

42%

46%

44%

72%

71%

70%

44%

41%

13%

21%

33%

Finland

N/A

N/A

45%

48%

50%

51%

51%

53%

53%

53%

50%

Denmark

90%

94%

130%

115%

64%

72%

66%

56%

44%

37%

40%

Ireland

31%

50%

40%

39%

52%

50%

50%

50%

50%

65%

65%

Austria

82%

91%

95%

99%

98%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Netherlands

77%

78%

100%

104%

104%

86%

47%

70%

35%

25%

23%

Total Panasonic WEEE collection volume for Europe (t)

56,078

58,301

48,498

40,459

33,503

30,682

29,677

27,756

24,761

25,811

22,381

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

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 take-back and recycling program 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.
By clicking on each of the WEEE schemes listed below, you will learn more about their activities.

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 its leadership role in establishing and operating a recycling system for waste batteries and consumer electronic products in North America. Following the startup 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 numerous companies across 20 states and the District of Columbia. The cumulative total of collection by MRM has exceeded 1.2 billion lbs. (approximately 600 kt) since its inception in 2007. With the changes in Panasonic's business strategies in the US, our remaining collection obligations are de-minimis, MRM will continue operating its collection programs on behalf of the manufacturers it serves.

Panasonic collection results:

Total Panasonic electronic product collection volume (USA, FY-2020)

56 t

Cumulative electronic product collection volume (USA)

89.26 kt

Note: This result is the cumulative total of Panasonic's voluntary and mandatory collections as of March 31, 2021.

Please see here for additional details on MRM and its programs.

In addition to collection of residential electronics, we have a robust scrap electronics equipment policy for our offices in the US and Canada. All obsolete office equipment is shipped to approved vendors for recycling. In 2020 we shipped 220 t for recycling and a total of 3125 t since 2006.

Recycling end-of-life products in Canada started in 2004 with the Alberta Government Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulation. Since then a total of ten 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 an active role in the governance of the Electronic Product Recycling Association, a not-for-profit management organization. The currently active provincial EPR programs have proven to be very effective in diverting e-waste as reflected in last year's totals, where 109.41 kt in Canada were collected.

Country State/Province Recycling Organization Information Products Covered
Canada Alberta New window:ARMA - Alberta Recycling Management Authority TV, PC, monitors, printers and fax machines
With a new pilot program for small appliances, AV, telecom, telephones, and power tools
Saskatchewan New window:EPRA Saskatchewan TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, home & portable audio video, telephones, car audio video, batteries, microwave oven, and selected telecom
British Columbia New window:EPRA - British Columbia TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, photocopiers, batteries, home & portable audio video, telephones, car audio video, selected telecom, medical equipment, and peripherals.
New window:Major Appliance Recycling Roundtable Major Appliances and built-in & over-the-range microwave ovens
New window:CESA – Canadian Electrical Stewardship Association Small Appliances, personal care, microwave ovens, power tools, exercise equipment, and sports & leisure
Nova Scotia New window:EPRA – Nova Scotia TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, home & portable audio video, telephones, car audio video, counter-top microwave ovens, and selected telecom
Ontario New window:Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, photocopiers, batteries, home & portable audio video, telephones, 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, telephones, car audio video, selected telecom, and peripherals.
Manitoba New window:EPRA - Manitoba TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, photocopiers, batteries, home & portable audio video, counter-top microwave oven, telephones, car audio video, and selected telecom
New Brunswick New window:EPRA - New Brunswick TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, home & portable audio video, telephones, car audio video, and selected telecom
Newfoundland New window:EPRA – Newfoundland TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, home & portable audio video, telephones, car audio video, and selected telecom
Prince Edward Island New window:EPRA – PEI TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, home & portable audio video, counter-top microwave ovens, telephones, car audio video, and selected telecom
Northwest Territories New window:Rethink-it Northwest Territories - Managed by ARMA TV, PC, monitors, printers, batteries, and floor standing photocopiers
Yukon New window:Recycle Yukon Electronics TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, home & portable audio video, telephones, car audio video, and selected telecom, small appliances, and counter-top microwave ovens

Notebook PC Recycling

Panasonic Canada initiated its own dedicated computer take-back system in mid-2017 by entering into a partnership with a third party reverse logistics company, Revolution Recycling, now called Quantum LifeCycle. This partnership allows us to extend to our customers two options: where units have a refurbishment value, we offer a buy-back program; and where units are no longer suitable for refurbishment, we offer free environmentally responsible end-of-life recycling, while ensuring personal data destruction to ITAD standards.

China

In China, we are engaged in activities to clarify the products covered by the Second Catalog (published in February 2015) of the Regulation for the Administration of the Recycling and Treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Products, which was published in May 2012 and enforced in July of the same year. In addition, we actively gather information and submit comments on setting unit-based rates for the covered products, toward early disclosure of information by Chinese governmental organizations such as the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Finance.
We are also carrying out an assessment of the development of the Plan on Promoting Extended Producer Responsibility promulgated by the government in January 2017, as well as reviewing our responses toward the expected publication of operational rules to the China Solid Waste Environmental Pollution Prevention Law which was enforced in September 2020.

Southeast Asia and Oceania

Australia

The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) was established in Australia in 2011.
Panasonic Australia (PAU) is partnered with EPSA, a co-regulatory arrangement approved by the Australian government to fulfill its obligation under the national scheme. Between January 2020 and December 2020, 803 t of e-waste were recycled. PAU is now reviewing the current co-regulatory partnership and will confirm the co-regulatory arrangement for the new fiscal year in July.

Vietnam

Since the introduction of recycling law in Vietnam in July 2016, producers and importers are required to establish a take back scheme for their products sold in Vietnam. Panasonic Sales Vietnam has since set up 7 collection points: two in Ho Chi Minh, and one each in Hanoi, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Da Nang, and Can Tho. In 2020, 15 t of e-waste were collected and sent to licensed recyclers for proper treatment.

Singapore

The Resource Sustainability Act was introduced in Singapore requiring producers of regulated consumer products to join the licensed Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS), which will start in July 2021. Panasonic Singapore is working closely with the authorities and PRS operator to ensure the smooth implementation of the PRS.

India

In India, the new e-waste recycling law has been implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) from the 1st of October 2017, with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) targets based on end-of- life (EoL) defined in the e-waste (Management) rules 2016. To fulfill the compliance, we will collect and recycle waste home appliances through the "I Recycle" program already established by Panasonic India (PI).

I Recycle: Panasonic's comprehensive e-waste recycling program

Panasonic India 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."
Locations of the collection points can be found by clicking here.

The letter "I" will make a connection with our eco tag line "I am doing my bit"

Harit Umang

JOY OF GREEN is an initiative by Panasonic India, aiming to create an eco- friendly and sustainable community by innovatively engaging the young students of the country for an important cause of not only creating mass awareness but sensitization towards safe disposal of electronic waste. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PI started a webinar series with schools for mass awareness.

JOY OF GREEN

Panasonic India achieved the collection target of 2020-2021.

Sl. No

Year

E-Waste Collection Target (Weight)

(i)

2017-2018

10% of the quantity of waste generation as indicated in Extended Producer Responsibility Plan, i.e. 596 t

(ii)

2018-2019

20% of the quantity of waste generation as indicated in Extended Producer Responsibility Plan, i.e. 2001 t

(iii)

2019-2020

30% of the quantity of waste generation as indicated in Extended Producer Responsibility Plan, i.e. 4285 t

(iv)

2020-2021

30% of the quantity of waste generation as indicated in Extended Producer Responsibility Plan i.e. 5043 t

Latin America

In response to a growing trend in stricter environmental laws in Latin American countries, discussions on the establishment of recycling laws and actual enforcement are being conducted.

In Brazil, a sectoral agreement on home appliances was concluded in October 2019, and a Federal Decree specifying a system to collect and recycle household electrical and electronic equipment was enforced in January 2021. As one of the main members of a waste home appliance management body (ABREE), Panasonic collaborated in the establishment of a reverse logistics system (a system to collect used products), and promotes efficient collection and treatment of used products.

In Peru, under the recycling law that came into force in 2016, we joined a nonprofit waste management organization (ASPAGER) as a leading member, and started a used-product recovery program.

In Colombia, a framework law for home appliance recycling was enacted in 2018. Panasonic has been a member of a used-product collection program (Red Verde/Lumina) conducted by an industry group (ANDI) since 2014, prior to the enactment of operational rules.

In Mexico, a collection program is implemented under the government-approved recycling and management plan.

In Chile, the legislation process is also being considered, and preparations for setting up a collection program are underway through continuous discussions with the government.