Creating Eco-conscious Products

Collection and Recycling

  • 12 RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION
  • 13 CLIMATE ACTION

Efforts to establish a sound material-cycle society

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.

The Brother Group's collection and recycling efforts

Brother International Europe Ltd.

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. and gives details of recycling methods available in a total of 28 countries.

Regarding collecting and recycling products, Brother utilizes the collection and recycling channels in place in respective countries, in compliance with the WEEE Directive.

Portal site for recycling (Europe)

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

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 United States 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 United States, and other countries to help raise the technological standards of the Brother Group. As a result of continuous, untiring efforts to improve recycling technologies, the Brother Group as a whole remanufactured 29.8 million cartridges between the start of recycling in 2004 and the end of March 2020.

[Brother's activities] Toner Cartridges Recycling

Clean room at the Recycling Technology Centre [Brother's activities] Toner Cartridges Recycling

Brother International Corporation (U.S.A.)

In the United States, 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.) explains how to return used toner cartridges, drum units, ink cartridges, and tape cassettes.

Even in Canada used toner cartridges are collected via local sales facilities.

Brother Sales, Ltd.

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, the Brother Group along with other printing product manufacturers and sellers launched an Ink Cartridge Return Project with post offices in January 2007.
Collection began throughout Japan in 2008. For details, see "Ink Cartridge Return Project".
(Link to the website of "Ink Cartridge Return Project." This website is available only in Japanese.)

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

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.
For details, see "Recycling Used Consumables" or "Corporate Used Products".

Mie Brother Precision Industries, Ltd.

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.

Monochrome toner cartridges Monochrome toner cartridges

Brother International (Aust.) Pty. Ltd.

Brother International (Aust.) Pty. Ltd. is a founding member of the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark (C4PA) program to recycle printer toner cartridges. Since its founding, this program has collected and recycled a total of 46.7 million printer cartridges (as of the end of August 2020)

As a member of Electronic Product Stewardship Australasia (EPSA), the company is also participating in Australia's National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme to recycle printers.

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. In FY2019 (April 1, 2019-March 31, 2020), 110,000 consumables and printers/All-in-Ones weighing a total of 41 tons were collected.

Reducing CO2 emissions through closed-loop recycling of toner cartridges

Collected end-of-life toner cartridges are remanufactured at the Brother Group's recycling sites into toner cartridges having the same quality as brand new products, and are delivered to customers again.
Through this method of closed-loop recycling of its products, the Brother Group is contributing to the effective utilization of natural resources through waste reduction, as well as to the reduction of CO2 emissions.
In FY2019, the Brother Group as a whole remanufactured 2.77 million toner cartridges, reducing CO2 emissions by 5,850 tons.

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