Ideal Recycling for Resource Circulation

Recycling Is the Solution for Waste and Resource Issues

Waste is now recognized as a major issue around the world. Soaring use and disposal of plastic and other resources has given rise to problems such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch*. This is one of the most critical global environmental challenges that manufacturers must overcome. Recycling is one of the ways to address the problem and create a long-term solution.

Material Recycling Can Be Divided into Two Major Categories

1.Recycling into other products

Most material recycling is intended to reutilize materials in the creation of other products. Metals can be recycled into other products repeatedly, as it's relatively easy to maintain their purity.
Plastic, on the other hand, is more difficult to recycle repeatedly, as material quality tends to deteriorate during reprocessing. PET bottles, for example, are typically recycled into other items, such as food trays or fabrics, rather than being processed into new bottles.

Recycling into other products

2.Recycling into original products

Another type of material recycling is the reuse of materials to recreate the original product. Plastic is more difficult to recycle. However, if plastic purity can be maintained during the recycling process, the plastic can be reused over and over into similar products, like metals.

Recycling into original products

Closed-Loop Recycling: Ideal for Plastic

We believe closed-loop recycling to be an ideal method for plastic recycling, as it greatly extends the lifespan of the resources and enables products to be made repeatedly from the same material. We have been conducting closed-loop recycling for toner cartridges since 1992. In recent years, Canon has also been promoting automated technologies at recycling sites taking full advantage of our extensive recycling know-how and technology.

New product equivalent quality with recycled materials Total material recovery

Addressing Challenges in Plastic Recycling by Starting from the Design Stage

Plastic is difficult to separate from other materials because it cannot withstand heat and is not easily dissolved by solvents. Some might say that plastic is a particularly difficult material for closed-loop recycling. At Canon, however, we focus on closed-loop recycling in our product development right from the design stage - for example, in using plastic materials that better resist thermal degradation, limiting types of materials used and eliminating labels. Through these measures, we have been able to solve the difficult issues inherent in plastic recycling.

Optimal material selection

We've increased resource circulation rates by using plastic materials that better resist thermal degradation.

Limiting types of plastic

We've improved sorting accuracy by greatly reducing the variety of plastic materials used.

Eliminating foreign matter

As labels cause quality deterioration in plastic recycling, we now engrave necessary information for protective measures to eliminate potential contamination.