Panasonic’s ‘Takeback Program’ To Foster Sustainability In North America

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  • The company aims to recycle personal care devices; plans to expand to other consumer products in the future
  • Its vision is to divert this e-waste to a vital input stream and pay consumers to do it
  • Panasonic, ERI, MRM and Redwood Materials will work together for this program

At a major electronics event, technology leader Panasonic announced the ‘Take Back for Tomorrow’ program in North America to promote the recycling of certain consumer electronic devices. The pilot program will start with electronic personal care devices such as shavers and trimmers, which represent a huge opportunity to recycle components that would otherwise end up in landfills.

The company noted that over 88 million Americans use an electric shaver or trimmer. Most of these are destined for landfills, wasting an opportunity to recycle the batteries, metals, and other materials trapped in the devices.

Circular Supply Chain

With this program, Panasonic aims to give a push to circularity within its U.S. supply chain where components from its consumer electronics are recycled by ERI. All lithium-ion batteries in these devices are sent to Redwood Materials, which will then recycle and remanufacture metals into critical anode and cathode components for Panasonic’s electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

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Notably, the companies are joined by MRM to manage the overall program including recycling coordination and recycler auditing to ensure a safe, responsible recycling program that contributes to the companies’ shared sustainability goals.

“We are proud to partner with ERI, Redwood Materials, and MRM on this pilot program to help save personal care products from landfills,” commented Walter Taffarello, Director of Appliance and Beauty Merchandise, Panasonic. “Disassembly and then recycling or reusing all the parts of end-of-life products is essential to protecting natural resources. Together, we can work toward a more sustainable, circular future where nothing is wasted but rather repurposed for another use.”

MultiShape

The company specified that an owner of an electric or battery shaver or trimmer can participate by signing up at PanasonicMultiShape.com. As per the company, a pre-paid label for consumers is also generated to pack and ship the device at their convenience.

Interestingly, individuals who participate and send in an eligible device will receive 30% off the purchase of a Panasonic MultiShape device. MultiShape claims to be the first integrated grooming system on the market which can replace multiple independent electronic devices, representing a more sustainable choice compared to using several electronic devices.

Feeling honoured to be working with Panasonic, Redwood Materials, and MRM, Chairman and CEO of ERI, John Shegerian remarked: “The work we will be doing will prevent household electronics from ending up in landfills, diverting them back into the circular economy, while providing a convenient way for people to do the right thing for the planet.”

Newark, NJ-based Panasonic Corporation of North America is the principal North American subsidiary of Japan-based Panasonic Corporation. It aims to serve by enabling its business-to-business customers through innovations in sustainable energy, immersive entertainment, integrated supply chain and smart mobility solutions.

ERI identifies itself as the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company in the United States. It claims to be certified by all leading environmental and data security oversight organizations.

Founded by Panasonic and other electronics manufacturers, MRM manages electronics recycling programs at various locations in North America and provides national electronics recycling solutions for over 50 electronics manufacturers.

JB Straubel found Redwood with the aim to create a circular supply chain by offering large-scale sources of domestic anode and cathode materials produced from recycled batteries and manufacturing these critical components at scale in North America.


 

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