Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

December 31, 2008


Mitsubishi Electric to Recycle Plastic from Old Home Electronics in New Products

Keywords: Manufacturing industry Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

Japan's Mitsubishi Electric Corp. announced on August 20, 2008, that it plans to launch large-scale recycling and reprocessing of high-purity plastics in the fall of 2009. The system the company has developed involves separating and recovering three major types of plastic from crushed plastic mixtures produced during the recycling of used home appliances, and then manufacturing new products with the reprocessed, high-purity raw materials.

The mixture of residual plastics includes polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), which are used mainly in household appliances. The company uses specific gravity technology to sort and recover PP to a high purity level of 99 percent. For PS and ABS, which are more difficult to sort by gravity, the company developed an electrostatic separation technology to separate the two types of plastic from each other, also resulting in a high material purity of over 99 percent. This is the first time in Japan for a company to recover and reuse these three types of plastic at a purity of 99 percent or higher.

According to Mitsubishi Electric, from every 10,000 tons of plastic recovered by its recycling system, until now only 600 tons were recycled in its new home electric appliances, but it is expected to increase to 7,000 tons, using its technology to expand the amount of plastics in its closed-loop recycling system. The company also said that the amount of the three major types of raw plastic used in its household appliances business could be reduced by about 18 percent, while carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by 10 percent, or 6,700 tons per year.

- Mitsubishi Electric Corp. - Electrostatic sorting

Posted: 2008/12/31 06:00:15 AM