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Press Release

State of Fluorocarbons Recovery from Automotive Air-Conditioners in FY 2003

December 24, 2004

The Ministry of the Environment released that the amount of fluorocarbons recovered from the class-2 specified equipments (i.e. automotive air-conditioners) in FY 2003 was approximately 638 tons. The class-2 fluorocarbons recovery operators shall report to the prefectural governors the amount of fluorocarbons recovered from the class-2 specified equipments in compliance with the Law concerning the Recovery and Destruction of Fluorocarbon (hereinafter referred to as the "Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law").

In Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law obliges the class-2 fluorocarbons recovery to recover refrigerant fluorocarbons when equipment is disposed. The law also obliges the class-2 fluorocarbons recovery operators which are authorized to recover refrigerant fluorocarbons from the class-2 equipments when they are disposed to report the amount of recovered fluorocarbons in the previous fiscal year to prefectural governor. The prefectural governors shall report this information to the competent ministers (Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry). The competent ministers are obliged to organize the collected information and disclose the information on recovery and destruction of fluorocarbons from the specified equipment. (Tables 1 & 2)

Strenuous efforts have been made by the government to implement effective recovery of fluorocarbons by taking following actions.

* RRequesting concerned organizations and associations to review their recovery status and to ensure regulatory compliance by members.
* Dissemination and familiarization through briefing sessions and publication.
* Informing current status to prefectural governments and ordinance designated cities supervising authorized operators and requesting those municipalities to comprehend the situation to take appropriate measures.

From January 1, 2006, the articles related to the class-2 specified equipment in the Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law shall be included in the Law on Recycling of End-of-Life Vehicles. Recovery of fluorocarbons from automotive air conditioners installed on end-of-life vehicles shall be implemented under the framework of this law. Collaborating with municipalities and industries concerned, the government shall continue to make its efforts for full dissemination of information, smooth transfer to the Law on Recycling of End-of-Life Vehicles from the Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law, and further promotion of recovery of fluorocarbons.

Note: It is estimated that end-of-life vehicles amounts to approximately 4 million units annually and recovery rate in unit number is expected to be around 42% (49% in FY 2002). Considering the environmental load, comparison should be made between quantity of refrigerant filled at manufacturing stage and quantity recovered. If quantity of refrigerant initially filled should be 700g per unit, recovery rate is estimated to be 23% (29% in FY 2002) and for destruction rate 15% (12% in FY2002).


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