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Current State of Enforcement of the Act on Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances (Collection Results) and Results of Recycling Efforts by Home Appliance Manufacturers (FY2018 Results)

June 13, 2019

Joint press release with the Ministry of the Environment

On June 13, 2019, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) hereby announce the FY2018 results of home appliance manufacturers and other businesses in terms of their collection of four types of discarded home appliances- [i] air conditioners, [ii] television sets (cathode-ray tube type, and liquid crystal or plasma type), [iii] refrigerators and freezers, and [iv] washing machines and laundry dryers (hereinafter referred to as the “four types”) - at designated collection locations across Japan under the Act on Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances (hereinafter referred to as the “Home Appliances Recycling Act”).

The number of discarded home appliances collected at such locations in FY2018 was 13.561 million as for all four types, showing an increase by 14.1% from that in FY2017.

This figure (13.561 million) marked the highest amount since the enforcement of the Home Appliances Recycling Act began, except in the period between FY2009 and FY2011 when the number of collected cathode-ray tube television sets increased due to the shifting to the digital terrestrial broadcast system and other factors.

1. Outline

The Home Appliances Recycling Act targets the four types of home appliances mentioned above. Under the Act, upon receiving a request from a household consumer who intends to discard any of the four types, a retailer is required to collect such appliance and deliver it to a manufacturer or other business, and then the manufacturer or business is required to collect the appliance at a designated collection location and recycle or reuse the appliance at a home-appliance recycling plant.

2. Current state of the collection at the designated collection locations

In FY2018, approximately 13.56 million discarded home appliances of the four types were collected by manufacturers and other businesses at the designated collection locations. Looking at the breakdown, air conditioners accounted for approximately 3.40 million, cathode-ray tube television sets accounted for approximately 1.04 million, liquid crystal type or plasma type television sets accounted for approximately1.89 million, refrigerators and freezers accounted for approximately 3.35 million and washing machines and laundry dryers accounted for approximately 3.88 million.

Number of the collected home appliances at the designated collection locations across Japan in FY2018
  Number of collected units (unit: 1,000) Composition rate Year-on-year basis
Air conditioners 3,398 25.1% Up by 20.0%
Cathode-ray tube television sets 1,035 7.6% Down by 0.4%
Liquid crystal type or plasma type television sets 1,894 14.0% Up by 26.9%
Refrigerators and freezers 3,354 24.7% Up by 12.5%
Washing machines and laundry dryers 3,880 28.6% Up by 9.7%
Total of the four types of home appliances 13,561 - Up by 14.1%

The total number of discarded home appliances collected at such locations was 13.561 million for all four types and this figure marked the highest amount since the enforcement of the Home Appliances Recycling Act, except in the period between FY2009 and FY2011 when the number of collected cathode-ray tube television sets increased due to the shifting to the digital terrestrial broadcast system and other factors.

3. Current state of recycling

In FY2018, approximately 13.63 million discarded home appliances of the four types were delivered to home-appliance recycling plants and recycled or reused, showing an increase by about 16.4% from the previous year. The government of Japan requires businesses to recycle the four types of discarded home appliances at a level higher than the statutory level. A difference seen between the number of such home appliances collected at the locations and those recycled or reused at the plants is the result of a time lag or other similar factors associated with delivery of such appliances.

Home appliance manufacturers have released the FY2018 results of their recycling business and other data on their websites or by other means to date. Moreover, the Association for Electric Home Appliances also compiled the results of recycling of home appliances and other data across Japan into a document and released it on its website.

From the discarded four types of home appliances delivered to such plants, manufacturers and other businesses collected iron, copper, aluminum, glass, plastic and other valuable resources through recycling processes and all of the manufacturers succeeded in achieving recycling rates higher than the statutory level. Looking at the breakdown of the recycling rates of the four types, air conditioners were 93% (80% at the statutory level), cathode-ray tube television sets were 71% (55% at the level), liquid crystal type or plasma type television sets were 86% (74% at the level), refrigerators and freezers were 79% (70% the level) and washing machines and laundry dryers were 90% (82% at the level). Following on from the FY2017, all of these recycling rates went beyond the statutory levels.

Recycling rates (results for three years from FY2016 to FY2018)
  FY2016 FY2017 FY2018
Air conditioners 92% 92% 93%
Cathode-ray tube television sets 73% 73% 71%
Liquid crystal type or plasma type television sets 89% 88% 86%
Refrigerators and freezers 81% 80% 79%
Washing machines and laundry dryers 90% 90% 90%

Note: In FY2009, liquid crystal type or plasma type television sets and laundry dryers were newly added to the coverage of target home appliances under the Home Appliances Recycling Act.

Moreover, such manufacturers and other businesses collected fluorocarbons used as coolants in air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers and washing machines and those contained in heat insulation members in refrigerators and freezers. Looking at the breakdown by weight of the fluorocarbons collected from the four types, coolant fluorocarbons in air conditioners were approximately 2,226 tons, those in refrigerators and freezers were approximately 188 tons, those in washing machines and laundry dryers were approximately 28 tons and fluorocarbons in heat insulation members in refrigerators and freezers were approximately 286 tons.

Division in Charge

Environmental Affairs and Recycling Office, IT Industry Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, METI

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