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 Sales, Ltd. [Japan]
Jointly collecting ink cartridges via post offices
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.
Recently, local government offices have started to install collection boxes. As of June 1, 2015, collection boxes are in place at 3,640 post offices and 2,768 local governments, etc.
Used toner cartridges and drum units from printing products are collected free of charge. Requests are accepted via the company website, telephone, or fax. In the Brother eco point program , points are automatically awarded for every consumable returned, and seedlings are planted according to the number of points earned.
"Ink Cartridge Return Project" won the Excellence Award in the 13th Green Purchasing Awards by the Green Purchasing Network in September 2011.
In addition, Brother Industries, Ltd. collects and recycles Brother's products (fax machines, printers, and All-in-Ones for businesses) in collaboration with its business partners.
- *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. [Japan]
Promoting the reuse of 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 Corporation (U.S.A.) [North America]
Promoting the collection and recycling of consumables in North America
Website for collecting toner and ink cartridges (U.S.)
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 International Europe Ltd. [Europe]
Portal site for recycling consumables and products
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. The scheme is available in the EU and is translated into 28 languages.
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 .
Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd., Brother Industries (Slovakia) s.r.o. [Europe]
Recycling toner cartridges
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.
Brother International Singapore Pte. Ltd. [Asia/Oceania]
Jointly collecting used ink and toner cartridges in Singapore
"Project Homecoming" logo mark
On December 1, 2011, Brother International Singapore Pte. Ltd. (BIC(S)) launched "Project Homecoming" to collect used ink and toner cartridges in Singapore in collaboration with four other printer manufacturers (Canon, Dell, Seiko Epson, and Lexmark International).
This project originated with the "Ink Cartridge Return Project " in Japan conducted by six companies (the above five companies plus Hewlett-Packard Japan, Ltd.) in collaboration with Japan Post Holdings Co., Ltd. This is the first joint project for printer manufacturers to collect used ink cartridges outside Japan.
In Singapore, collection boxes have been placed in 13 branches of the National Library, which are visited by many people daily, with cooperation from the National Environment Agency and the National Library Board. Collected cartridges are disassembled and then materials such as plastics and metals are recycled.
Brother International (Aust.) Pty. Ltd. [Asia/Oceania]
Participating in a toner cartridge recycling program
Brother International (Aust.) Pty. Ltd. is participating in the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark (C4PA) program to recycle toner cartridges.
Brother International (NZ) Ltd. [Asia/Oceania]
Used consumables and products collected and recycled
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.