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Posted Aug 8th, 2019

Sony: First Electronics Company to Sign EPA’s America Recycles Pledge

The America Recycles Pledge

Last week, Sony Electronics Inc. became the first consumer electronics manufacturer to sign the Environmental Protection Agency’s America Recycles Pledge. The pledge asks signatories to continue addressing the United State’s recycling system and to develop more sustainable materials solutions. 

The full pledge reads:

“My organization pledges to work together with EPA and the other America Recycles Pledge signatories to build on our existing efforts to address the challenges facing our nation’s recycling system and to identify solutions that create a more resilient materials economy and protect the environment. My submission of this form indicates the interest and willingness of my organization to participate in an ongoing dialogue to identify specific actions that we can take collectively with EPA and the other signatories, and within our respective organization, to improve the nation’s recycling system.”

Sony isn’t the only one. Current pledge signers include Amazon, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford Motor Company, McDonalds, Nestle, Target, Walmart and many more. There are a total of 75 signatories, 45 of which signed on during the America Recycles Day Summit on November 15, 2018.

“The America Recycles Pledge is our commitment to increase domestic recycling, and we are excited to welcome Sony Electronics as our first consumer electronics manufacturer to join the group of pledge signatories,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said. “Strengthening the domestic recycling industry, along with creating new markets for recycled materials, not only improves the environment, but it also saves local governments valuable resources and provides high-quality materials for American manufacturers.”

“Recycling is critically important to protecting the environment and to Sony’s broad sustainability efforts,” President and COO of Sony Electronics North America Mike Fasulo said. “We are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the EPA and other like-minded organizations toward collectively expanding and improving America’s recycling capabilities.”

A Greener Mindset for Sony

Signing the pledge is part of Sony’s Road to Zero initiative, a global environmental plan to reduce their environmental footprint through their business to zero by 2050. Road to Zero specifies action from four perspectives: curbing climate change, conserving resources, promoting biodiversity, and controlling chemical substances. The plan also affects their entire product life cycle: from planning and design to procurement, from logistics to recycling. 

Sony has also partnered with Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the largest electronics recycler in the United States. ERI is working to ensure Sony’s electronics— from televisions to headphones and gaming systems, are properly recycled. Sony has also developed SORPLAS™, a recycled plastic with sustainability and performance in mind. The material is up to 99% recycled material, oil-resistant, durable, and versatile— with applications in cameras, phone screens, and televisions. Already SORPLAS™ has been implemented in the MASTER Series A9G 4K OLED TVs, MASTER Series Z9G 8K LED TVs  and X950G Series 4K LED TVs.

About EPA

Formerly established on July 9, 1970 by Richard Nixon, the Environmental Protection Agency is an independent agency of the U.S. government aimed at protecting people and the environment. 

They ensure that Americans have access to clean air, land and water, that environmental risks are assessed on scientific information, and that the sites are reviewed and cleaned up by the responsible parties. EPA are also pivotal in passing many of the country’s laws protecting human and environmental health. 

More specifically, EPA writes and implements environmental laws, set the standards for carbon emissions and other pollutants, and enforce regulations where necessary. They are also responsible for developing research, forming partnerships with businesses, and educating the public on best practices for sustainability. 

EPA’s America Recycles Day

On November 15, 2018, EPA celebrated America Recycles Day, an event centered around the importance of recycling to the environment. According to EPA’s website, the recycling rate has increased from 7 percent in 1960 to 35 percent today. In addition, the agency found that nearly 10,000 tons of materials recycled can support 16 jobs and $760,000 in wages. 

They also ruled four recycling action areas: 1) education and outreach, 2) enhancing materials management infrastructure, 3) strengthening secondary materials markets, and 4) enhancing measurement. The goal is to improve on these four areas to develop the nation towards recycling over the following year. 

Back in 2016, in celebration of America Recycles Day, EPA released several reports and statistics on the economic benefit of recycling and updated the Recycling Economic Information (REI) Study. REI analyzed the impact of recycling on tax revenues, wages, and employment within that year. They found that recycling in 2016 equated to 757,000 jobs, $36.6 billion in wages, and $6.7 billion in tax revenues. This equated to 1.57 jobs, $76,030 in wages, and $14,101 in tax revenues for every 1,000 tons of recycled material. 

No word yet on what the agency has planned for this year’s America Recycles Day. One thing is for certain: the agency has their work cut out for them in the coming years, but as long as they continue to partner with big companies such as Sony, a nationwide shift to recycling may not be as impossible as one would think.

If you need help with your electronics recycling, Securis is here to help. Contact us today for information.


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