Updated on May 31, 2019

Recycling Activities in Japan

Sony recycles televisions and personal computers in line with applicable recycling-related laws in Japan. Sony also bears the cost of recycling lithium-ion batteries and other small rechargeable batteries, as well as packaging materials, as required by law.

Recycling of Television Sets

Japan's Home Appliance Recycling Law, which came into effect in April 2001, initially covered four major home appliances: televisions, refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners. In April 2009, the law was revised to also cover LCD and plasma televisions and clothes dryers. Among applicable products, Sony manufactures televisions*1 (CRT, LCD and plasma models). The Home Appliance Recycling Law requires consumers to pay collection, transport and recycling fees when disposing of applicable home appliances, retailers to take back such appliances and return them to manufacturers, and manufacturers to recycle these appliances.

Sony has established a nationwide cooperative recycling network with four other manufacturers. As a consequence, Sony-manufactured televisions are now recycled at 15 recycling plants across Japan. One of these plants is operated by Green Cycle Corporation, which manages a recycling business as a Sony Group company.

TV being dismantled at Green Cycle Corporation

In fiscal 2018, Sony recycled approximately 170,000 CRT televisions and 272,000 flat-screen televisions. The Home Appliance Recycling Law obliges manufacturers to maintain recycling rates of at least 55% for CRT televisions and at least 74% for flat-screen televisions. Sony has consistently exceeded these rates since fiscal 2001. In fiscal 2018, the recycling rate for Sony-manufactured CRT televisions was 74%, while for Sony-manufactured flat-screen televisions it was 87%.

  • *1Sony-manufactured televisions include products bearing the Aiwa brand manufactured in and before 2005.
Television Recycling in Japan (Fiscal 2018)
  Units CRT televisions LCD and
plasma televisions
Number of products brought into designated collection locations Thousand 164 272
Number of products recycled Thousand 170 272
Total weight of products processed Tons 3,997 5,011
Total weight of recycled products and materials Tons 2,982 4,402
Recycling rate % 74 87
  • - Figures have been truncated.
  • - The number of products recycled and total weight of products processed refer to the number and weight of products for which recycling processes were implemented in fiscal 2018.
  • - The number of products brought into designated collection locations and number of products recycled do not include products for which responsibility for recycling is undecided owing to, for example, the entry of incorrect information in tracking sheets.
Breakdown of Total Weight of Recycled Products and Materials in Japan (Fiscal 2018)
  Units CRT televisions LCD and
plasma televisions
Iron Tons 449 2,175
Copper Tons 165 45
Aluminum Tons 3 218
Nonferrous and ferrous compounds Tons 6 8
CRT glass Tons 1,420  
Other valuable resources Tons 938 1,954
  • - Figures have been truncated.
  • - Total weight of parts and resources which were processed to become possible to be transferred for profit or free of charge for use as parts or materials in other products.
  • - Other valuable resources include plastics, among others.

Recycling of Personal Computers

Although Sony sold off its personal computer business in July 2014, it is collecting and recycling its PC products in Japan that are no longer used by households and businesses, including long-time corporate users, in accordance with Japan's Act on the Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources. Items being recycled are desktop PC units, notebook PCs, CRT displays, and LCDs.

The many used computers made by Sony are being recycled with close attention to information security, with hard drives being physically destroyed in a dedicated work space at Green Cycle Corporation. In fiscal 2018, Sony collected and recycled the total amount of approximately 26,000 units, for a total weight of approximately 152.6 tons. From these items, about 106.1 tons of materials were reused, including metal, plastic, and glass parts.

Notebook PC being dismantled
Personal Computer Recycling in Japan (Fiscal 2018)
Unit Desktop
PC units
Number of products brought into plants Thousands 2.4 13.4 1.4 9.4
Total weight of products processed Tons 24.2 31.3 26.0 70.9
Total weight of recycled products and materials Tons 17.4 15.8 16.3 56.5
Recycling rate % 71.7 50.7 62.7 79.6
  • - Figures have been truncated to one decimal place.
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