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 (FY2021 Results)
July 1, 2022
Joint Press Release with the Ministry of the Environment
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) publish the numbers of four types of discarded home appliances that manufacturers and other operators have collected nationwide at designated collection locations under the Act on Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances (Home Appliance Recycling Act).
The combined total of the four types of discarded home appliances collected in FY2021 was approximately 15.26 million units. In addition, the recycling rates were higher than the legal standards for all the four types, as in the previous fiscal year.
1. Manufacturers' and other operators' roles in the Home Appliance Recycling Law
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. Situation regarding collection at designated collection locations
In FY2021, approximately 15.26 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 3.54 million, cathode-ray tube television sets accounted for approximately 0.79 million, liquid crystal type or plasma type television sets accounted for approximately 3.11 million, refrigerators and freezers accounted for approximately 3.54 million and washing machines and laundry dryers accounted for approximately 4.28 million.
Number of units collected at designated collection locations nationwide (FY2021)
|Number of units collected
|Percentage of the total||Year-on-year change|
|Cathode-ray tube television sets||785||5.1%||-20.1%|
|Liquid crystal type or plasma type television sets||3,113||20.4%||+3.8%|
|Refrigerators and freezers||3,543||23.2%||-4.5%|
|Washing machines and laundry dryers||4,281||28.1%||-4.4%|
|Total of the four types of home appliances||15,261||-||-4.7%|
Although it was lower than the previous fiscal year's 16.02 million units, the figure of around 15.26 million means that the total collection of the four types of home appliances remained high, and close to the 16.80 million recorded for FY2011, when the shift to digital terrestrial broadcasting led to increased collection of cathode-ray tube television sets. The breakdown by appliance reveals decreased collection across the board except for Liquid crystal type or plasma type television sets, collection of which was 3.8% higher than in the previous fiscal year. (See Attachment 2.)
3. Situation regarding recycling
It is mandatory for the manufacturers and other relevant operators to recycle the four types of discarded home appliances that they collect at designated collection locations. Specifically, they must separate out the parts and materials made from substances like iron, copper, aluminum, glass, and plastics. Then, they must either use them as parts or raw materials for products, or convert them into forms in which they can transfer them—either for a fee or free of charge—to parties who can do so. In addition, the legal standards must be met regarding the recycling rates, which indicate percentages of the total weights of the parts and materials that are actually recycled out of the total weights of the four types of discarded home appliances fed into the recycling process. The aim is to reduce discard and use resources efficiently.
In 2021, around 1,544 million units of the four types of home appliances were brought to home appliance recycling plants and recycled. (This was down about 2.7% year-on-year). The numbers of units collected at designated collection locations differ from the numbers recycled at home appliance recycling plants because of transportation from the location to the plant making a time difference.
The FY2021 recycling rates for the four types of home appliances were as follows, with the legal standards in parentheses: 92% for air conditioners (80%), 72% for Cathode-ray tube television sets (55%), 85% for Liquid crystal type or plasma type television sets (74%), 80% for refrigerators and freezers (70%), and 92% for washing machines and laundry dryers (82%). This means that the rates were higher than the legal standards, as in the previous fiscal year.
Recycling rates (For the past 3 years)
|Cathode-ray tube television sets||71%||72%||72%|
|Liquid crystal type or plasma type television sets||85%||85%||85%|
|Refrigerators and freezers||80%||81%||80%|
|Washing machines and laundry dryers||91%||92%||92%|
In addition, air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers, and washing machines use refrigerants and insulation materials that contain fluorocarbons and can be harmful to the environment, and home appliance recycling plants recover these as well. The following weights were recovered in FY2021: about 2,380 tons of coolant fluorocarbons from air conditioners, about 142 tons of the same from refrigerators and freezers, and about 40 tons of the same from washing machines and laundry dryers; and about 244 tons of fluorocarbons in heat insulation from refrigerators and freezers. (See Attachment 3.)
Manufacturers and other operators involved with the four types of home appliances publish their recycling results and other relevant information on their websites. The Association for Electric Home Appliances also publishes materials on its website that summarize information such as nationwide home appliance recycling results. (See below.)
- (Appendix 1) State of Enforcement of the Act on Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances (Numbers of units collected at the designated collection locations nationwide) (in Japanese)(PDF:161KB)
- (Appendix 2) Changes in numbers of units collected by manufactures and other operators (in Japanese)(PDF:138KB)
- (Appendix 3) Total of recycling conducted by manufactures and other businesses based on the Home Appliance Recycling Act for FY2021 (from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022) (in Japanese)(PDF:80KB)