Building a Recycling-Oriented Society
Recovery and Recycling of Used Products
Konica Minolta has developed recovery and recycling programs for used products in regions around the world, each one tailored to local legal systems and market conditions.
Recovery and Recycling of Used Products
Konica Minolta has a program for collecting used MFPs, printers and other products from customers through the Konica Minolta Group’s sales companies around the world. These products are recycled by contractors that meet the legal requirements, and obtain approval in each country.
Konica Minolta’s recovery and recycling program complies with the waste disposal laws in each country. When forming agreements with contractors, Konica Minolta asks them to comply with the necessary laws and regulations in each location. Moreover, Konica Minolta conducts audits using reports on recycling conditions and appropriate disposal obtained via regular on-site monitoring. In Japan, Konica Minolta carries out on-site inspections once every three years to confirm recycling conditions, including compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
For example, in Japan, after collecting used MFPs and printers from eight collection centers, the used products are recycled at seven designated contractors. The collected products are taken apart by hand, rather than crushed mechanically, to raise the recycling rate. After dismantling, metal and plastic parts are separated, for example, and many are reused as materials. Those that cannot be reused as materials are reused as fuel.
In fiscal 2022, Konica Minolta sold a total of 69.0 thousand tons of office equipment worldwide. Meanwhile, 13.6 thousand tons of end-of-life office equipment were recovered by major sales companies in Japan, China, the United States, and Europe. Of this amount, 13.5 thousand tons of material were recycled.
Recycling process at a designated contractor
In addition, Konica Minolta has received approval from Japan’s Ministry of the Environment to dispose of copiers, MFPs and printers that it has sold based on a special system for wide-area treatment of industrial waste. Konica Minolta operates a fee-based recovery program for collecting and recycling used printers and copiers from corporate clients.
Outside Japan, Konica Minolta is undertaking recycling programs tailored to conditions in specific countries. In Europe, for example, the company has adopted measures in compliance with the EU directive on the disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). It meets the legal and environmental labeling requirements in various countries including Asian countries such as China and India.
Recovery and Recycling of Used Toner Cartridges
Konica Minolta offers the Clean Planet Program, a recycling program for used toner cartridges for laser printers and MFPs, in over 20 countries, including Europe, the U.S., and Japan (in Europe, programs have started in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Norway, and there are plans for gradual expansion). In Australia, Konica Minolta also offers its own recovery and recycling programs.
To solve the recycling issue, customers can order collection boxes through the customer portal and return the boxes once they are full.
Collected toner cartridges are recycled using the latest technology in collaboration with Close the Loop, a leading recycling company, in order to maximize recovery of secondary raw materials. The cartridges are not incinerated or disposed of in landfills.
Areas Where Toner Cartridge Recovery and Recycling System Has Been Conducted
Machines collected in Japan in fiscal 2022
- Estimated collection rate: 82%
- Recycling rate: 99%
Reuse of used toner bottles (toner refill)
Konica Minolta has been administering a program in which used toner bottles are collected and recycled. In order to make further contributions to the circular economy that society demands, the Company developed a system to supply used toner bottles that had been refilled with toner in 2021, and launched sales in Europe. In this way, Konica Minolta has been not only reducing the use of plastic, but also contributing to reductions in the energy used when toner bottles are cast.
■Toner Refilling Process Flow
Participation in Industry Organizations and Networks
Initiatives in Japan
Konica Minolta participates in the recovered equipment exchange system run by the Japan Business Machine and Information System Industries Association (JBMIA). Through this initiative, equipment turned in by manufacturers of copiers, MFPs and digital printers, including Konica Minolta, are collected at shared collection centers and returned to manufacturers, thus promoting the recovery and recycling of products in the industry overall. There are 35 collection sites and nine exchange centers for collected machines from Hokkaido to Okinawa, covering all of Japan.
Initiatives in Europe
In France, Konica Minolta Business Solutions France S.A.S. established CONIBI with joint investments from 17 office equipment manufacturers and contracted recovery operations to this joint company. CONIBI created its own free collection system and promotes the recycling of toner cartridges and consumables.
Recycling Support at Customer Sites Due to Improvement of Deinking Process
In the European market, a deinking process is required for recycling printed copy paper. Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH has been certified for deinking by the International Association of the Deinking Industry (INGEDE). Deinking enables high-level paper recycling and helps promote the effective use of resources.