A few years back, you could hardly talk about electronics without hearing some "green" slant. Eco-friendly this, and energy-efficient that. Nowadays, green is still "in," but it's not spoken of with nearly the same amount of vigor. That Fujitsu's making green sexy again, and its new technology truly is impressive. The company announced this week that it has created the industry's first recycling system that collects used CDs and DVDs at Fujitsu Group recycling centers and reuses the plastic in the bodies of notebook PCs. Fujitsu
began using this recycled plastic for part of the front panel of its LIFEBOOK P772/E notebook PC for enterprise customers, a model in its summer 2012 lineup, but now it seems that the experiment will stretch its arms a bit. Here's a bit more on the process from the company itself:
To avoid the risk of contaminants being mixed into the recycled plastic, the new recycling system performs quality control based on a chemical substances risk management database developed by Fujitsu Laboratories, thereby ensuring that notebook PCs and other ICT devices comply with legal requirements for chemical components. Compared to conventional notebook PC manufacturing processes, this system is expected to reduce the amount of newly produced plastic used by 10 tons per year while cutting CO2 emissions by approximately 15%.
Going forward, Fujitsu plans to expand the use of this system to other notebook PCs and products as a way to reduce its environmental footprint and resource consumption. The Fujitsu Group is proud to promote the recycling of end-of-life ICT products in Japan and around the world to help create a recycling-minded society.
At the company's five recycling centers across Japan, Fujitsu collects, disassembles, sorts, and recycles personal computers and other products. However, reusing the recovered plastic in new computer units had posed a number of challenges. Firstly, when different types of plastic are involved, a uniform mixture is impossible to achieve even by melting the plastic with heat. As a result, it is necessary to collect only a single type of plastic to ensure the desired material properties. Even so, in a given plastic, there may be differences in ingredients, visual defects, or impurities that make it difficult to achieve the same molding characteristics, colors, strength and other properties as conventional plastics. Furthermore, compliance with the RoHS directive and REACH regulations regarding the safety of chemicals in ICT products has made it challenging to control the quality of recycled plastics, and until now it has been impossible to reuse recovered plastic in a computer bodies.
One can only wonder if it'll license the technology in order to pass the savings and eco-friendliness onto other companies. Mother Earth sure hopes it does.