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Proposals for Design for Recycling
PETEC tests products with the R&D division of Panasonic and its group subsidiaries. Also, based on results, PETEC proposes ideas for product designing in terms of recyclability.
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Manufacturing Easy-to-Recycle Products

To have easily recyclable products, it should not cost much and not require too many manual operations when recycling. In other words, the easily recyclable products are considered how they will be recycled after use from the very first stage of designing.

For example, more than twice as many screws and parts were used for older model TVs than for recent models. The more complicated the product, and the more parts used in it, the more time it takes to dismantle it. Also, it takes lots of time to sort materials because there are too many kinds of materials used.

Comparing CRT TVs that were produced in 1983 to those produced in 2003, the ones produced in 2003 have fewer parts and kinds of materials. Moreover, they are sturdy and long-lasting. Also, they are designed to be more rapidly and precisely recycled than the older models.

Time required for disassembling a relatively new flat-panel TV has been significantly reduced, compared with the time it required when it was launched.

Demonstration Experiment "Seeing is Believing"

PETEC undertakes a "dismantling demonstration" to design products that are easy to recycle. A dismantling demonstration involves inviting product development engineers of Panasonic and its group subsidiaries to PETEC and providing them with the experience of working on the recycling lines to appreciate the difficulty of the dismantling operations. "Seeing is believing." It is important that engineers experience the difficulty, not only hear it from PETEC.

Through these steady activities, R&D engineers start to change their attitude toward recycling. They take back the experience of the activities to their work place and apply the feedback directly to product development. PETEC's recycling is based on the concept of "from products to products." It is why the knowledge and experience of PETEC is shared within Panasonic and its group subsidiaries, and PETEC would like to make active use of this shared knowledge in production.

Efforts to realize zero-waste recycling have already begun before a new product is even built.

*This site introduces Panasonic's home appliance recycling plant in Japan, which is engaged in material recycling under the Japan's Home Appliance Recycling Law.