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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 enters into force in August 2012 and has to be implemented in the EU Member States by the beginning of 2014 at the latest.
|Country||Return Ratios*1 based on market share|
|Total Panasonic WEEE collection volume for Europe||25,552 tons||37,069 tons||52,203 tons||56,078 tons||58,301 tons|
- *1 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.
EcologyNet Europe (ENE)
Since 2000 Panasonic has been amassing much recycling management know-how and technological expertise in Japan including our recycling facility, Panasonic Eco Technology Center Co., Ltd., (PETEC) . We knew this expertise would be a valuable addition to the European recycling industry. Accordingly, we established ENE EcologyNet Europe GmbH (ENE) in April 2005 with the view that our expertise accumulated in Japan would be useful. As a subsidiary of Panasonic, the same quality and highly-ecological standards are applied to ENE’s operations. Initially focusing on the recycling of WEEE in Germany, ENE meets all the legal, transport and recycling obligations for Panasonic and the partner producers who choose to use ENE to meet their WEEE obligations.
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. This take-back system involves our European recycling subsidiary, EcologyNet Europe, thereby ensuring the quality of the whole recycling process, and eliminating the risk of any illegal waste dumping in under-developed countries, which is a current concern to the electronics industry. 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.
|Germany||EcologyNet Europe [ENE]||Slovakia||Asekol SK|
|Greece||Recycling of Appliances SA||Spain||Tragamovil
Toner Cartridge Recycling
In 2011, Panasonic Systems Communications Europe (PSCEU), a division of Panasonic Marketing Europe GmbH, expanded its European recycling program for used toner cartridges through setting up a web-based return process for all European countries (except for Greece and Italy where other solutions are currently under consideration).
Panasonic continues to play a leadership role in developing recycling infrastructure across the United State and Canada, both with our Panasonic national voluntary program and our efforts within the electronic industry.
|Total Panasonic electronic product collection volume (USA, 2011)||13,727 tons|
|Cumulative electronic product collection volume (USA)||30,103 tons|
- *2 This result is the cumulative total of Panasonic’s voluntary and mandatory collections as of June, 2012.
Panasonic Established the Leading Electronic Product Stewardship Organization in the US
Panasonic North America has led the establishment of a dedicated recycling management company in a joint venture with Sharp Electronics Corporation and Toshiba America Consumer Products LLC. Called Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company, LLC (MRM), the company’s goal is to provide consumers with convenient and responsible recycling opportunities.
MRM has emerged as the country’s leading electronic product stewardship organization representing 40 brands and operating comprehensive programs in 20 states with manufacturer collection mandates, including Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. MRM is also developing a manufacturer stewardship program for Texas, who’s TV recycling law takes effect from January, 2013. Panasonic believes that collaborative manufacturer plans such as MRM is now operating are the best way to achieve the economies of scale needed to realize consumer convenience and environmentally sustainable recycling. Since its inception MRM has collected and recycled 90,909 tons of electronic products. Additional information is available at MRM.
Furthermore, we have proactively worked on recycling solutions in all the states and provinces across North America as listed below. By clicking on each recycling organization’s link, you can gain access to information on how to dispose of unwanted electronics.
Panasonic Is Now Implementing A National Recycling Program for Panasonic Audio and Video Consumer Products in the United States
Continuing to demonstrate the Panasonic Group’s commitment to responsible end-of-life solutions, Panasonic launched a nationwide program in November 2008 to collect and recycle audio and video consumer products across the United States.
Panasonic’s goal for this program is consumer convenience and responsible recycling.
Panasonic now supports over 1500 collections sites nationwide, well on our way to achieving our goal of 1600 sites by the end of fiscal 2013. The Panasonic National Program is operated by MRM.
|Country||State/Province||Recycling Organization Information||Products Covered|
|United States of America||California||CA eRecycle and Panasonic Information||TV, PC|
|Connecticut||CT E-waste Program||TV, PC, Printer|
|Hawaii||MRM||TV, PC, Printer|
|Illinois||MRM||TV, PC, Printer|
|Maine||Maine E-Waste Program||TV, PC|
|Maryland||eCycling in MD||PC|
|North Carolina||MRM||TV, PC|
|New Jersey||MRM||TV, PC|
|New York||MRM||TV, PC, Printer, other|
|Pennsylvania||MRM||TV, PC, Printer|
|South Carolina||MRM||TV, PC, Printer|
|Utah||MRM||TV, PC, Printer|
|Vermont||Vermont program||TV, PC, Printer|
|West Virginia||MRM||TV, PC|
|Wisconsin||MRM||TV, PC, Printer|
|Panasonic National Program||(Operated by MRM)||*****|
|Canada||Alberta||Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA)||TV, PC, monitors, printers and fax machines|
|Saskatchewan||Saskatchewan Waste Electronic Equipment Program(SWEEP)||TV, PC, monitors, printers and fax|
|British Columbia||Electronics Stewardship Association of British Columbia (ESABC)||TV, PC, monitors, printers and fax|
|Nova Scotia||Atlantic Canada Electronics Stewardship (ACES)||TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax, A/V and non-cellular telephones|
|Ontario||Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES)||TV, PC, monitors, printers, fax and disk drives|
We set a precedent by playing a major role in the establishment of the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) in the United States in 1994, and exercising leadership therein. This organization collects and recycles Ni-Cd (nickel cadmium), Ni-MH (nickel metal hydride), lithium ion, lead rechargeable and other batteries used in electrical and electronic appliances from over 30,000 retailers across the United States and Canada. In 2011, RBRC collected and recycled 3,447, metric tons of rechargeable batteries across the US and Canada.
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.
CEA eCycling Leadership Initiative
Panasonic was a founding member of the Consumer Electronics Association’s eCycling Leadership Initiative. Launched in April, 2011, the Leadership Initiative is a voluntary effort by major electronic product manufacturers to increase recycling in the US to one billion pound annually (455,000 MT) by 2016, a three-fold increase from 2010 levels. This ground-breaking effort resulted in 208,652 MT of consumer electronic products being recycled in 2011, a 53 percent increase over the 136,077 MT recycled by manufacturers in 2010.
The Regulation for the Management of Recycling and Disposal of Waste Electrical and Electronic Products was enforced in January 2011. Under this regulation, we established a joint recycling company in Hangzhou, named Panasonic DADI DOWA Summit Recycling Hangzhou Co., Ltd., with Hangzhou DADI Environmental Protection Engineering Co., Ltd., DOWA Holdings Co., Ltd., and Sumitomo Corporation in November 2011. Based on the methods of advanced and practical technology and a contemporary control system that have been developing within the recycling industry in Japan for more than a decade, our new company will engage in the collection, disassembly, and sale of recycled materials extracted from used appliances in accordance with the above regulation with the aim of becoming an advanced model for home appliance recycling in China. Through these efforts, the company will contribute to environmental conservation and the effective use of resources in the country.
In the Republic of Korea, we take on the expenses of recycling PC and battery in accordance with the Manufacturer Responsibility Reapplication System. Panasonic‘s recycling data for 2011 is provided as follows.
|Waste Recycled (unit : ton)|
Air Conditioning Refrigerant
Under the requirements of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989, Panasonic has a responsibility to hold membership of an approved Product Stewardship Scheme in relation to the end-of-life recycling of the refrigerant in the products it imports into Australia. Panasonic pays a levy for each kg of refrigerant imported.
TV and Computer Recycling
Panasonic Australia was a Foundation Member of Product Stewardship Australia, a not-for-profit organisation which is working with the Australian Government and the Computer Industry to implement a National Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme. The Scheme is due to come into effect in July 2012 and aims to increase recycling rates of televisions and computers to more than 80% by 2020-21. Panasonic recently joined ANZRP (Australian and New Zealand Recycling Platform), a group who has been accredited as an approved recycler for the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme.
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 equipments 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 76 collection points in 10 cities 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.
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