Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

December 7, 2002


Toshiba Appliance Rental Service Targets People Living Alone

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture Manufacturing industry Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

Toshiba Techno Network Co., a subsidiary of Toshiba, Japan's major electronics manufacturer, started in October 2001 to offer "home appliance rental packages" that allow users to rent out a set of home appliances typically needed by those who live alone, such as students and workers away from home. This package covers Toshiba's new products with a repair warranty, and further supports those living alone by offering free services, including delivery, installation and removal.

The package includes four appliances: a 4.2 kg automatic washing machine, a 120-liter two-door fridge-freezer, a 15-inch flat television, and a cooking oven-range. The monthly rental fee of the whole package for a three-year contract is 3,800 yen (about U.S.$31). Users have a choice of a two, three, or four-year rental period and pay no additional fee for repair during the contract.

Japan's Law for Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances, effective in April 2000, requires that consumers who dispose of TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, or air conditioners pay the fee for recycling these appliances. The company advertises that users don't have to pay the recycling fees, and highlights the benefit that the rental service offers four necessities for people living alone.

The extent to which this service actually reduces the burden on the environment depends on how the appliances are handled after the rental period. The service is attracting attention as one business model that follows a trend from "ownership" to "function and service."

Posted: 2002/12/07 06:26:36 AM
Japanese version