|[ PRESS RELEASE ]
Fujitsu Kasei Limited
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
Fujitsu Uses Plastic Recycled from Its Own PCs
in New Notebooks, an Industry First
Tokyo, November 28, 2002 -- Fujitsu Limited today announced that, together with Fujitsu Kasei Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. and the plastic materials producer UMG ABS Ltd., it has developed a new recycling system that enables ABS resin (*1) from recycled computer housings to be reused in new notebook computer housings. Implementing this new system, Fujitsu is using the recycled material in its fall/winter of 2002 FMV-BIBLO LOOX/S notebook PC models. The company intends to expand the use of this material to other products as part of its efforts to boost its resource reuse rate (*2).
Under Japan's law for promotion of effective utilization of resources that went into effect in April 2001, personal computers that are disposed by businesses must be recovered by the manufacturer so that the materials can be recovered and recycled. Fujitsu's own recycling program was launched well in advance of the new laws. In 1997, the company set up five recycling centers around Japan where old computers could be collected, disassembled, the parts sorted by material, and then recycled.
Until now, use of recycled plastics has been hindered by irregularity in the quality of the source materials. Variations in types of materials, external stains and impurities made it difficult for recycled plastics to achieve the same quality as virgin plastics in terms of color, moldability and strength. For that reason, simple use of recycled personal computer plastics in the housings of new personal computers, or "closed-loop recycling" (*3) has not been practical. The recovered plastics have instead been reused in equipment for other industries or household goods, or for thermal recycling (*4).
Fujitsu's new recycling system, which was brought to fruition with the help of UMG ABS, is a "semi-closed" system that combines closed-loop and open-loop recycling (*5) approaches. The plastics recovered by Fujitsu's recycling centers to be used as a feedstock are the closed component, and recycled materials sourced by UMG ABS are the open component. These are blended with some virgin material, and by fine-tuning the mixture, Fujitsu achieves the same level of performance as with all-virgin plastic, while also ensuring a stable feedstock supply. By reusing plastics recovered from its own computer products, Fujitsu can make more effective use of the plastic and also increase the rate of reuse.
The Fujitsu Group is actively employing the latest environmental technologies and developing products that are in the vanguard of the IT industry in terms of their ecological sensitivity. The new recycled plastic will be on display at the Eco-Products 2002 expo at Tokyo Big Sight December 5-7.
- *1. ABS
A compound of acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene often used in computer housings for its strength and quality.
- *2. Resource reuse rate
This index was devised by the Japan Electronic Industry Development Association to encourage greater efforts towards reusing and recycling materials. It is a ratio where the numerator is the total weight of materials that are reused, such as iron, copper, aluminum, precious metals, glass, and plastics. The denominator is the total weight of reused and recycled products. To give greater priority to reuse and material recycling, thermal recycling is excluded from the numerator.
- *3. In a closed-loop recycling system, a computer's housing is recycled as another computer's housing. The discarded product's parts and materials are reused as new parts and components in a new product.
- *4. Thermal recycling is a process where discarded plastic is burned as fuel, and the thermal energy released in the plastic is recovered in the form of hot water, steam, or electricity.
- *5. Open-loop recycling is a system where a materials producer acquires used material as a feedstock, and produces and sells new plastic from that.
Fujitsu is a leading provider of customer-focused IT and communications solutions for the global marketplace. Pace-setting technologies, high-reliability/performance computing and telecommunications platforms, and a worldwide corps of systems and services experts make Fujitsu uniquely positioned to unleash the infinite possibilities of the broadband Internet to help its customers succeed. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 5 trillion yen (about US$38 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002. For more information, please see: http://www.fujitsu.com/
About Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Limited is one of the premier research centers in the world. With a global network of laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of IT Core Systems, IT Media, Networks, Peripherals, Advanced Materials and Electronic Devices.
Kenichi Watanabe, Scott Ikeda
Fujitsu Limited, Public & Investor Relations
Tel: +81-3-3215-5259 (Tokyo)
Mobile Computing Division
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
Material & Material Engineering Laboratories
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