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Panasonic Launches Takeback Program to Save Consumer Electronics from Landfills, Advance Circularity

PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from PR Newswire
Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
January 4, 2023 GMT
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Panasonic Logo

Panasonic Take Back for Tomorrow program will begin recycling personal care devices with plans to expand to other consumer products in the future

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- At the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas today, Panasonic announced the Take Back for Tomorrow program to promote recycling of certain consumer electronic devices. The pilot program will start with electronic personal care devices such as shavers and trimmers, which represent a huge opportunity to recycle components that would otherwise end up in landfills.

Today, over 88 million Americans use an electric shaver or trimmer. Most of these are destined for landfills, wasting an opportunity to recycle the batteries, metals, and other materials trapped in the devices. Panasonic’s program aims to start diverting this e-waste to an important input stream for a more circular supply chain – and pay consumers to do it.

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To participate, an owner of an electric or battery shaver or trimmer signs up at PanasonicMultiShape.com. Panasonic covers the costs for shipping the end-of-life product with partner ERI. The company generates a pre-paid label for consumers to easily pack and ship the device at their convenience for recycling.

Panasonic’s vision with this program is to advance circularity within its U.S. supply chain where components from its consumer electronics, starting with personal care devices, are recycled by ERI. All lithium-ion batteries in these devices are sent to Redwood Materials who will then recycle and remanufacture metals into critical anode and cathode components for Panasonic’s electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Redwood is creating a closed-loop, domestic supply chain for lithium-ion batteries across collection, refurbishment, recycling, refining, and remanufacturing of sustainable battery materials. The companies recently announced that recycled cathode active materials from Redwood will be used in lithium-ion batteries to be manufactured at Panasonic’s new EV battery facility under construction in De Soto, Kansas, starting in 2025. Panasonic is the North America market leader in EV lithium-ion batteries.

ERI’s nationwide footprint helps reduce shipping and make the program more carbon efficient. The companies are joined by MRM, which will help manage the overall program including recycling coordination and recycler auditing to ensure a safe, responsible recycling program that contributes to the companies’ shared sustainability goals.

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“We are proud to partner with ERI, Redwood Materials, and MRM on this pilot program to help save personal care products from landfills.” said Walter Taffarello, Director of Appliance and Beauty Merchandise, Panasonic. “Disassembly and then recycling or reusing all the parts of end-of-life products is essential to protecting natural resources. Together, we can work toward a more sustainable, circular future where nothing is wasted but rather repurposed for another use.”

“It is an honor to be working with Panasonic, Redwood Materials, and MRM on such an innovative and consumer-friendly program,” said John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of ERI. “The work we will be doing will prevent household electronics from ending up in landfills, diverting them back into the circular economy, while providing a convenient way for people to do the right thing for the planet.”

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Individuals who participate and send in an eligible device will receive 30% off the purchase of a new Panasonic MultiShape device.

The MultiShape itself is an example of the company’s commitment to sustainability, and an example of its Panasonic GREEN IMPACT initiative coming to life in its product design. Panasonic MultiShape is the first integrated grooming system on the market. Its modular design is centered around a “base unit” handle containing the battery and motor that powers an array of interchangeable attachments, including a variety of trimmer, shaver, and toothbrush options.

A single MultiShape can replace multiple independent electronic devices, representing a more sustainable choice compared to using several electronic devices – giving people the chance to eliminate duplication of motors, rechargeable batteries, and power adaptors. MultiShape is also designed for durability with a long lifespan, reducing waste compared to disposable grooming products. In the U.S. it comes in 100% recyclable corrugated packaging, and features a toiletry bag made from 100% recycled rPET nylon.

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To sign up and participate, visit the Panasonic Take Back for Tomorrow webpage.

To learn more about MULTISHAPE, visit PanasonicMultishape.com.

About Panasonic Corporation of North America

Newark, NJ-based Panasonic Corporation of North America is committed to creating a better life and a better world serving consumers and also by enabling its business-to-business customers through innovations in Sustainable Energy, Immersive Entertainment, Integrated Supply Chain and Smart Mobility Solutions. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation. One of Interbrand’s Top 100 Best Global Brands of 2022, Panasonic is a leading technology partner and integrator to businesses, government agencies and consumers across the region. Learn more about Panasonic’s ideas and innovations at https://na.panasonic.com/.

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About ERI

ERI is the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company in the United States. ERI is certified at the highest level by all leading environmental and data security oversight organizations to de-manufacture, recycle, and refurbish every type of electronic device in an environmentally responsible manner. It is the first and only company in its industry to achieve SOC 2 certification for security and data protection. ERI has the capacity to process more than a billion pounds of electronic waste annually at its eight certified locations, serving every zip code in the United States. ERI’s mission is to protect people, the planet and privacy. For more information about e-waste recycling and ERI, call 1-800-ERI-DIRECT or visit https://eridirect.com.

About Redwood Materials

Redwood Materials is creating a circular supply chain to drive down the environmental footprint and cost of lithium-ion batteries and the electric vehicles and sustainable energy storage systems they power. Founded by JB Straubel, Redwood is offering large-scale sources of domestic anode and cathode materials produced from recycled batteries, and manufacturing these critical components at scale in North America for the first time. Redwood receives the majority of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries recycled in North America today and then recycles, refined and remanufactured into critical battery materials. The company plans to ramp production of anode and cathode components in the US to 100 GWh annually by 2025, and 500 GWh annually by 2030, enough to produce more than five million electric vehicles a year. For more information, visit redwoodmaterials.com.

About MRM

MRM was founded by Panasonic and other electronics manufacturers to set up and run environmentally responsible, cost-efficient recycling programs for manufacturers of all types of electronic equipment. MRM manages electronics recycling programs across the US and in Ontario, Canada, and provides national electronics recycling solutions for over fifty electronics manufacturers. MRM monitors and manages complex regulatory requirements in states with e-waste recycling laws, vets and audits recyclers, and establishes collection networks to ensure safe, responsible, convenient recycling programs. Importantly, MRM assists manufacturers in developing recycling projects that contribute to the circular economy. MRM brings manufacturers together to build a circular economy while meeting the need for environmentally responsible recycling opportunities for consumers. MRM has helped consumers recycle 1.5 billion pounds of electronics. Learn more about MRM: http://www.mrmrecycling.com

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SOURCE Panasonic Corporation of North America