Sony Corporation is to use recycled magazine paper as the outer layer of all color-printed cartons for its worldwide Handycam camcorder series, one of the company's main products. The new material causes low environmental impact and will replace the bleached paper currently being used*1.
Sony has been actively promoting environmentally friendly packaging by reducing the use of styrene foam and by introducing recycled materials under the Environmental Action Program for the Sony Group. For example, one-piece boxes that do not require styrene foam for cushioning have been introduced for the packaging of a range of VCRs sold worldwide. Sony has also adopted packaging cushions made of a pulp-mold material rather than styrene foam for a 14-inch TV model, the first time this has been done for a CRT TV sold in Japan.
As the next step in these efforts, Sony will start using recycled magazine paper for the surface material of color-printed cartons for camcorders; the estimated output is 5.5 million units in fiscal year 2000. Starting with a model to be launched in Japan this spring, this type of recycled magazine paper will be gradually introduced for the packaging of all models sold worldwide.
Approximately 4 million units are expected to be packaged in color-printed cartons in FY2000. In addition, the ink used for these boxes will be switched to VOC-free*2 vegetable oil-based ink.
The paper to be used in this program has already been recycled several times. However, only about 30% of this type has been reused so far as it is difficult to achieve the required strength because of its shortened fiber, as well as due to the difficulty of bringing out vivid printing colors. Despite these drawbacks, Sony started using this material for its company envelopes in May 1999, and then for the packaging of Mini Disc 10-packs in 2000.
This is the first time for Sony to adopt packaging made of 100% recycled paper for an entire product category, and the company plans to extend this program to other products.
Sony will continue to step up its efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its services and products, including packaging, in accordance with its Mid-term Environmental Vision and Green Management 2005.