Sharp is committed to making technology sustainable by focusing on carbon reduction, resource conservation, and sustainable product design.
A product life cycle refers to the lifespan of a product, from materials and parts procurement to manufacture, distribution, use, disposal, to recycling. Sharp performs a life cycle assessment (LCA) on products to identify their impact on the environment throughout their service life and uses the results in product planning and development.
Closed-Loop Plastic Material
Sharp's closed-loop plastic material recycling technology is a highly efficient and sustainable approach to recycling plastic waste.
Unlike open-loop recycling, which involves the recycling of materials only once before they are discarded as waste, Sharp's closed-loop recycling technology enables the repeated recovery of plastic from electronic products. This means that plastic materials can be recycled multiple times, conserving resources and reducing the environmental impact of plastic waste. Besides making effective use of resources, recycling also reduces CO2 emissions.
If a product using virgin material is recycled once, it reduces CO2 emissions by 40%. However if the material is recycled five times, the total CO2 reductions are about 70%. This demonstrates the significant environmental benefits of closed-loop recycling, and supports Sharp's commitment to reducing our environmental footprint and promoting sustainable practices.
Sharp has been striving to make more plastic recyclable through the development of new technologies. These include a technology for recovering high-purity PP (polypropylene) from mixed plastic parts and parts that contain metal; a technology for improving the properties of recovered PP/HIPS and PC+ABS materials so that their quality is on a par with that of virgin materials; a technology that gives materials added value by imparting properties such as flame retardancy, weather resistance, and an antibacterial property, with the aim of expanding applications for recycled plastic; and a quality-control technology for ensuring optimal quality. Thanks to the development and introduction of these technologies that integrate everything from recovery to quality control, Sharp has been able to establish closed-loop material recycling to produce high-grade recycled plastic.
In fiscal 2020, recycled plastic was also used in air conditioner parts. The amount of use of recycled plastic developed through Sharp’s closed-loop material recycling technology reached 19,000 tons in fiscal 2020 (in cumulative total from fiscal 2001 to 2020).
Closed-Loop Plastic Material Recycling Flow