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Press Release

Publication of Data on Recycling of Home Appliances by Electric Appliance Manufacturers

May 17, 2004

The Law for the Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances (referred to as "Home Appliance Recycling Law"), enforced in April 2001, promotes proper disposal by consumers, collection from consumers and delivery to manufacturers by retail shops and recycling by manufacturers with regard to the designated four post-consumer use home appliances (air conditioners, television sets, refrigerators and washing machines).

For FY 2003 (April 1, 2003 - March 31, 2004), the number of post-consumer use home appliances collected at designated collection sites totaled 10.46 million units nationwide (3% increase compared to FY 2002), while the total number of such appliances delivered to the 41 designated home appliance recycling plants numbered 10.51 million units (3% increase). Insofar as one would expect that consumers usually discard old appliances when they buy new ones, an increase in the number of collected post-consumer use home appliances despite a decrease (8% decrease compared to FY 2002) in shipments of new products suggests that the Home Appliance Recycling Law is in fact taking root through the understanding and support of consumers.

Today, home appliance manufacturers released their respective data on recycling of home appliances for FY 2003 through their web-pages or publication (Japanese only). Also, the Association for Electric Home Appliances released data on the status of nationwide recycling of home appliances.

In the course of the recycling process, iron, copper, aluminum and glass were recovered from discarded home appliances delivered to recycling plants, and the recycling rate surpassed the legal standard. In addition to this, chlorofluorocarbons, which are used as refrigerants for air conditioners and refrigerators, were recovered and destroyed.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of the Environment will further promote efficient implementation of the Home Appliance Recycling Law through surveys and analysis of its enforcement on the basis of the above data.

* Total number of items that manufacturers and designated corporate bodies recycled from April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004 (FY 2003) in accordance with the Home Appliance Recycling Law
* Association for Electric Home Appliances

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