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Creating Eco-conscious Products

Collection and Recycling

Efforts to Improve Recycling

With the "end of life" of products in mind, the Brother Group has been working to (i) increase reusability and recyclability of products and consumables and (ii) build recycling systems in accordance with laws and regulations in respective countries.

Brother Group's collection and recycling efforts

Brother International Europe Ltd.

Portal site for recycling (Europe)
Portal site for recycling (Europe)

In Europe, the portal site for recycling consumables and products provides information about how to return used toner cartridges, drum units, ink cartridges and products, and ask for collection boxes, etc. which are available in total 28 countries.

Regarding collection and recycling of products, Brother utilizes collection and recycling channels in place in respective countries in compliance with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive.

 Portal site for recycling (Europe) 

Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd., Brother Industries (Slovakia) s.r.o.

Clean room at the Recycling Technology Centre
Clean room at the Recycling Technology Centre

Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd.'s Recycling Technology Centre is the Brother Group's core facility that recycles toner cartridges and designs and develops recyclable toner cartridges in collaboration with facilities in the U.S. and Japan. A project is underway to build a system for automating the recycling process. With support from the Recycling Technology Centre, Brother Industries (Slovakia) s.r.o. (BISK) recycles Brother's toner cartridges that are sold primarily in Europe. BISK's accomplishments and development expertise are shared in Japan, the U.S., and other countries to help raise the technological standards of the Brother Group.

 Toner Cartridges Recycle 

Brother International Corporation (U.S.A.)

Website for collecting toner and ink cartridges (BIC (USA))
Website for collecting toner and ink cartridges (BIC (USA))

In the U.S., the project is undertaken by collection and recycling contractors. The system is administered in accordance with state and federal laws.

The website of Brother International Corporation (U.S.A.) (BIC (USA)) explains how to return used toner cartridges, drum units, ink cartridges, and tape cassettes.

Used toner cartridges are collected in Canada via local sales facilities.

Brother Sales, Ltd.

Recycle process of "Ink Cartridge Return Project"
Recycle process of "Ink Cartridge Return Project"

In Japan, printing product manufacturers and sellers have collection boxes at retail outlets to collect used ink cartridges. In order to further improve the collection rate in January 2007, the Brother Group along with other printing product manufacturers and sellers launched an "Ink Cartridge Return Project" with post offices. Collection began at 3,638 posts offices across the country in April 2008.*1 The project has been a success as ink cartridges can be recycled by depositing them in the collection boxes at post offices*2 regardless of the manufacturer.

In collaboration with business partners, Brother Sales, Ltd. collects Brother products (fax machines, printers, and All-in-Ones for businesses), and Brother Industries, Ltd. recycles them.

  • *1: Since November 2008, Brother Sales, Ltd. has been collecting ink cartridges as a certified, wide-area waste disposal agent, as defined in the revised Waste Management and Public Cleansing Act, under the guidance of the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan.
  • *2: Not all post offices participate in this project.

Mie Brother Precision Industries, Ltd.

Monochrome toner cartridges
Monochrome toner cartridges

Mie Brother Precision Industries, Ltd. started to work on refurbishing toner cartridges for monochrome laser printers in FY2009 (April 1, 2009-March 31, 2010) based on recycling expertise gained in Europe.

Collected used toner cartridges undergo sorting, disassembly, cleaning, and parts replacement for reuse. To further reduce environmental impact, the company shares information with recycling facilities in Europe and the Americas and is continually improving the methods of refurbishing toner cartridges. Collected used color toner cartridges are delivered to Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd. for recycling.

Brother International (Aust.) Pty. Ltd.

Brother International (Aust.) Pty. Ltd. is participating in the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark (C4PA) program to recycle toner cartridges.
The company also participates in the TechCollect program for recycling consumables as a member of ANZRP (Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform).

Brother International (NZ) Ltd.

Brother International (NZ) Ltd. is working with an experienced recycling contractor to collect and recycle used consumables (e.g. ink and toner cartridges, drum units) and printers.