Sharp to use 1,000 tons of recycled plastic for new home appliances in fiscal 2008

Sharp announced the development of a technology to separate and recover high-purity polypropylene (PP) from waste plastic components collected from four appliances (TVs, air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines) subject to the Home Appliance Recycling Law in Japan and recycle it into high-quality plastic. This technology–the first of its kind in the industry–handles waste plastic in which metal parts and different types of resins still remain attached*1, and that was previously disposed of as industrial waste. Sharp is aiming to expand the amount of recycled plastic it uses by employing this polypropylene in exterior components of new home appliances, with a goal of using 1,000 tons of recycled plastic in fiscal 2008. Sharp has set up a High-Efficiency Metal Removal Line at Kansai Recycling Systems Co., Ltd. and has also developed new High-Purity PP Separation and Recovery Technology to recycle these waste plastic components. In addition, a proprietary technology from Ube Industries, Ltd to incorporate colored pigments into the separated and recovered PP prevents impurities from being visible, enabling the reuse of this PP in the exterior components of new home appliances, and achieving a closed-loop recycling system.

Sharp will first adopt this technology first for the exterior components of refrigerators in September 2007. It will also work toward a target of using 1,000 tons of recycled plastic in new products in fiscal 2008 (the actual amount used in fiscal 2006 was 620 tons).