Gallery: INTERVIEW: Inhabitat Talks to Panasonic’s Katsumi Tomita About...

 

Inhabitat: Panasonic already has a rather robust recycling center and seems to be contemplating using more recycled material in its products. In terms of accounting, does recycling materials actually save your company money or is it currently more expensive?

Tomita: Right now, it is not evident that there is any particular financial advantage coming from cost reduction by utilizing recycled materials. PETEC (Panasonic's recycling factory) was established is be in accordance with the respective Japanese laws on the recycling of home electronics appliances. PETEC is mainly run by recycling fees consumers pay when their electronics products reach the end of their useful lives, and by design it makes neither profit nor loss - it just breaks even. PETEC’s recycled materials are sold to outside companies by a Panasonic Group company. We cannot say that materials recycled in this way are always relatively cheaper than virgin materials.

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