SECAUCUS, USA: Panasonic joined other leaders in the consumer electronics industry to launch the first-ever, industry-wide, nationwide electronics recycling initiative in order to recycle one billion pounds of electronics annually by 2016. One billion pounds reflects more than a threefold increase over the 2010 level of electronics recycling. One billion pounds of electronics would fill enough 50-foot tractor trailers to stretch some 475 miles.
“Panasonic is pleased to support this ground-breaking industry-wide initiative,” said Joe Taylor, chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corp. of North America. “We have worked collaboratively for many years with other manufacturers and with our retailer partners and we look to this initiative to even further expand recycling opportunities available to Panasonic’s customers—and to those who wish to recycle any other brand, too.”
The eCycling Leadership Initiative represents a unique collaboration of consumer electronics manufacturers, retailers, collectors, recyclers, non-governmental organizations and governments at all levels, coordinated by the CEA (“Consumer Electronics Association”). It seeks to grow consumer awareness of the more than 5,000 collection sites already sponsored by industry and to continue to grow the number of site; to enhance the ease of drop-off and other collection opportunities; and dramatically increase the amount of electronics recycled responsibly, including by providing even-more transparent metrics on industry’s eCycling efforts.
Starting with voluntary collection and recycling efforts in 1999, Panasonic has led the industry in creating responsible recycling opportunities for its customers. Today Panasonic supports over 1,200 recycling drop-off locations and has recycled over 30,000,000 pounds of end-of-life electronic products. The company announced plans earlier this year to achieve at least 1600 convenient sites by 2012.
Acting to expand its own long-standing recycling programs, Panasonic joined with Sharp Electronics Corporation and Toshiba America Information Systems Company to create the Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Co. LLC, the first manufacturer-managed electronics product stewardship organization in the United States. Also known as MRM, the organization now works with more than 30 manufacturers to manage collection programs in 15 different states, and expects to expand this role further in 2011 and beyond. Panasonic expects MRM to play a complementary role in supporting the eCycling Leadership Initiative.
Panasonic is pleased that the initiative will follow the best practices of industry, including practices that prohibit the use of recyclers and downstream processors who dump end-of-life electronics in developing nations. The company is also pleased that this powerful, industry-led approach transcends the sometimes conflicting and unnecessarily costly offset of individual state recycling regulations with an aggressive and publicly-measurable set of industry collection targets and responsible recycling standards. The initiative is a step toward a national recycling solution which could better serve both the public and the environment.