Environment:Details of Regional Report

eco ideas

Japan

Product Recycling Initiatives in 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 324 designated collection sites (shared by "Group A" and "Group B") and 29 recycling plants, based on consignment from Group A manufacturers (17 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 2020, we recycled approx. 177,570 tons 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 appropriate to 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 2019 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

U.K.

75%

90%

94%

92%

85%

73%

74%

59%

54%

57%

Germany

56%

57%

44%

17%

20%

20%

39%

43%

36%

47%

Italy

37%

72%

97%

88%

66%

63%

42%

51%

49%

46%

Spain

24%

34%

39%

41%

47%

50%

45%

43%

41%

41%

Portugal

N/A

N/A

36%

38%

38%

41%

54%

52%

39%

31%

France

62%

76%

81%

81%

82%

88%

90%

108%

89%

76%

Czech

71%

87%

77%

77%

79%

78%

70%

68%

41%

51%

Poland

35%

36%

53%

53%

53%

54%

54%

40%

50%

60%

Slovakia

45%

11%

54%

54%

62%

65%

48%

56%

30%

28%

Hungary

49%

33%

50%

56%

46%

49%

61%

57%

50%

52%

Belgium

107%

107%

107%

107%

102%

93%

93%

93%

94%

94%

Norway

104%

78%

62%

73%

58%

41%

44%

30%

25%

50%

Sweden

42%

46%

44%

72%

71%

70%

44%

41%

13%

21%

Finland

N/A

N/A

45%

48%

50%

51%

51%

53%

53%

53%

Denmark

90%

94%

130%

115%

64%

72%

66%

56%

44%

37%

Ireland

31%

50%

40%

39%

52%

50%

50%

50%

50%

65%

Austria

82%

91%

95%

99%

98%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Netherlands

77%

78%

100%

104%

104%

86%

47%

70%

35%

25%

Total Panasonic WEEE collection volume for Europe(tons)

56,078

58,301

48,498

40,459

33,503

30,682

29,677

27,756

24,761

25,811

*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. We apply the same approach to packaging and battery recycling. We are also members of numerous systems in various European countries.

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 States 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 bringing 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-2019)

450 tons

Cumulative electronic product collection volume (USA)

89,200 tons

Note: This result is the cumulative total of Panasonic's voluntary and mandatory collections as of March 31, 2020.

The cumulative total of collection by MRM has exceeded 1 billion lbs. (1.13 billion lbs., approximately 511,000 tons) since its inception in 2007.
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 2017 all ten provinces and two territories in Canada have regulated WEEE programs. Panasonic has been instrumental in the planning and development of the organizations setup to administer these recycling programs and to this day actively participates in the governance of these IFOs.
With a total of over 3,211 collection sites across Canada these IFOs were able to divert 110,770 metric tons of e-waste in 2018. To date, Canadian collection programs have collected a total of 1,147,329 metric tons in e-waste since their implementation. However, yearly totals are trending downward due to reduction of CRTs being recycled, overall light weighting of products, and the maturing of the provincial programs. As a result, other metrics than just weight collected are under review to better evaluate the performance of these programs.
Unlike the United States, Canada does not separate their recycling by manufacturer as all e-waste is handled as a collective, with environmental handling fees (EHF's) applied at point of sale to the consumer. As such, Panasonic specific collection volumes are not available.
The Plain Paper and Packaging Recycling Programs are unique to Canada. Operated by Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance Inc. (CSSA) and Eco Entreprises Quebec (EEQ) these non-profit organizations represent the recycling interests of Retailers and Manufacturers, creating convenient environmentally sustainable ways for consumers to dispose of the packaging through curbside collection - from paper, to cardboard, to Styrofoam and plastics. CSSA is a national, non-profit organization managing the compliance requirements of stewards for the regulated provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. Whereas, EEQ operates solely in the province of Quebec.
In 2017 these programs collected and processed over 1.1 million metric tons of paper and packaging materials.

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
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, 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
Yukon New window:Recycle Yukon Electronics TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, home & portable audio video, Car audio video and selected telecom Small Appliances, Microwave Ovens,

Battery Recycling

Currently in Canada there are two IFOs running Battery Collection operations, Stewardship Ontario, as the approved collector in Ontario and Call2Recycle operating in BC, MB and QC as regulated provinces and in all other provinces with voluntary collection programs.
In 2018 the Call2Recycle Programs supported over 7,000 collection locations across the Canada, with a cumulative battery collection exceeding 2.7 million kilograms.
The Stewardship Ontario Program runs their Battery Collection program under the MHSW - Orange Drop Program but only in Ontario, it has over 5,000 collection sites with a collection of 2.9 million kilograms in 2018. The contributing factor to the success of the MHSW program is the implementation of a Collector and Processor Incentive which is basically a bounty on the collection of Batteries. This makes their program the most expensive battery collection program in the world. Due to the recent change in Ontario regulations covering the Battery Recycling program, Stewardship Ontario's MHSW program will officially terminate on June 30th 2020. This will then allow manufacturers to make their own selection of a processor in order to meet their obligations under the new regulatory framework.

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. 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, through the Executive Committee of Foreign Investment Companies (ECFIC) and other organizations, 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 and reviewing our response.

International Collaboration in Southeast Asia and Oceania

Australia

The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme was established in Australia in 2011.
Panasonic Australia is a member of the EPSA, a co-regulatory arrangement approved by the Australian government to fulfill our obligation under the national scheme. Between January 2019 and December 2019, 1,188 tons of e-waste were recycled. In March 2020, Panasonic Australia announced it will exit the Australian Television market. This decision will result in significant reduction in Panasonic's obligations under this scheme.

Panasonic Australia has played an active role with the Australian Battery Stewardship Council in designing a Stewardship program for battery recycling which, pending Government approval, will commence implementation in 2020.

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 in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Danang, and Can Tho. In 2019, 8 tons of e-waste were collected and sent to licensed recyclers for proper treatment.

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.
The E-Waste Management Rules 2016 have been amended vide notification G.S.R. 261(E), dated March 22, 2018 by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
This amendment in the Rules has been done with the objective of channelizing the e-waste generated in the country towards authorized dismantlers and recyclers in order to formalize the e-waste recycling sector.
The collection targets under the provision of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in the Rules have been set, and targets have been introduced for new producers who have started their sales operations recently.
Panasonic India achieved the collection target of 2019-2020.

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 MT

(ii)

2018-2019

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

(iii)

2019-2020

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

Panasonic goes one step ahead of the requirements of the E-Waste Management Rules 2016. It not only channelizes electronic waste to its authorized recycler but also ensures its environmentally sound recycling, ensuring direct customer interaction through a toll free number and website for safe disposal of e-waste.
The program reinforces Panasonic's commitment to protect the environment and makes it very easy for consumers to recycle their electronic waste in a responsible manner. Panasonic India has obtained Pan-India EPR authorization from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) under the government of India, which is also available on the CPCB website.

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." Currently, Panasonic India has set up and operates the scheme with 102 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 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.

JOY OF GREEN

Recycling Initiatives in 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 published in February 2020. For many years, Panasonic has been continuing discussions with the government through industry groups (ELETROS/ABINEE), proactively participating in collection campaigns in various major cities, and has contributed to the formulation of the decree. As one of the main members of a waste home appliance management body (ABREE), we also started actions in advance in preparation for the establishment of a reverse logistics system (a system to collect used products) which will start in 2020, aiming for 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. We also conduct activities at local elementary schools on a regular basis to raise awareness about recycling.

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.

In Argentina, we are participating in the Latin American Battery Association (ALPIBA) and engaging in continuous discussions with the government for effective legislation on the regulation of dry cell batteries.