Updated on August 29, 2019
Sony has set a target of reducing virgin plastic used per product by 10% from the fiscal 2013 level, by fiscal 2020. To achieve this target, Sony has been working to expand use of recycled plastics while also making product chassis more lightweight and compact. However, in more recent years, stricter regulations on import and export of used plastic have impacted the procurement of recycled plastics, and the average screen size of TVs has increased. Consequently, in fiscal 2018, virgin plastic used per product was up 2.4% from the fiscal 2013 level.
To reduce the consumption of virgin plastic, Sony has expanded the use of recycled plastics in a broad range of product categories by developing recycled plastics while elevating quality and reducing manufacturing costs. Sony recently developed a recycled plastic for audio products that actually improves sound quality while retaining a high percentage of recycled content. This recycled plastic was used in soundbars and home theater systems that were sold in 2016.
In fiscal 2018, the Sony Group used some 11,000 tons of recycled plastic*1 in its products. This amount consisted of approximately 58% recycled plastic content from scraps and other waste materials generated from manufacturing by the Sony Group and other companies, and approximately 42% post-consumer recycled plastic content from used products, containers, and other sources.
In 2011, Sony began practical use of Sustainable Oriented Recycled Plastic (SORPLAS™) , a flame-retardant recycled plastic made possible by a proprietary compounding technology that combines an original, non-halogen and non-phosphorus, flame retardant—itself produced using a Sony-developed process—and waste plastics (polycarbonate resin) from various sources in an optimal blend. Thanks to Sony's novel flame-retardant, which makes it possible to impart flame-retardancy by the addition of a very small amount of less than 1% of total content, SORPLAS™ not only surpasses conventional flame-retardant plastics in terms of durability, flame-retardancy and recyclability, but also achieves an outstanding utilization rate of up to 99% waste plastics. The effective utilization of SORPLAS™ has been shown to reduce CO2 emissions in product manufacturing by up to 80%.*1 Moreover, Sony's versatile waste-plastic compounding technology makes it possible to tailor SORPLAS™ to the needs of a variety of products. Sony first used SORPLAS™ in its products in 2011 and has since incorporated it into a wide variety of Sony products. Then, in 2014, Sony commenced external sales. Sony will continue to make SORPLAS™ widely available also outside the group, promote resource recycling, and contribute to a society with a reduced environmental impact.