At the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas today, Panasonic announced the Take Back for Tomorrow program to promote recycling of certain consumer electronic devices. The pilot program will start with electronic personal care devices such as shavers and trimmers, which represent a huge opportunity to recycle components that would otherwise end up in landfills.
Today, over 88 million Americans use an electric shaver or trimmer. Most of these are destined for landfills, wasting an opportunity to recycle the batteries, metals, and other materials trapped in the devices. Panasonic’s program aims to start diverting this e-waste to an important input stream for a more circular supply chain – and pay consumers to do it.
To participate, an owner of an electric or battery shaver or trimmer signs up at PanasonicMultiShape.com. Panasonic covers the costs for shipping the end-of-life product with partner ERI. The company generates a pre-paid label for consumers to easily pack and ship the device at their convenience for recycling.
Panasonic’s vision with this program is to advance circularity within its U.S. supply chain where components from its consumer electronics, starting with personal care devices, are recycled by ERI. All lithium-ion batteries in these devices are sent to Redwood Materials who will then recycle and remanufacture metals into critical anode and cathode components for Panasonic’s electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Redwood is creating a closed-loop, domestic supply chain for lithium-ion batteries across collection, refurbishment, recycling, refining, and remanufacturing of sustainable battery materials. The companies recently announced that recycled cathode active materials from Redwood will be used in lithium-ion batteries to be manufactured at Panasonic’s new EV battery facility under construction in De Soto, Kansas, starting in 2025. Panasonic is the North America market leader in EV lithium-ion batteries.
ERI’s nationwide footprint helps reduce shipping and make the program more carbon efficient. The companies are joined by MRM, which will help manage the overall program including recycling coordination and recycler auditing to ensure a safe, responsible recycling program that contributes to the companies’ shared sustainability goals.
“We are proud to partner with ERI, Redwood Materials, and MRM on this pilot program to help save personal care products from landfills.” said Walter Taffarello, Director of Appliance and Beauty Merchandise, Panasonic. “Disassembly and then recycling or reusing all the parts of end-of-life products is essential to protecting natural resources. Together, we can work toward a more sustainable, circular future where nothing is wasted but rather repurposed for another use.”
“It is an honor to be working with Panasonic, Redwood Materials, and MRM on such an innovative and consumer-friendly program,” said John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of ERI. “The work we will be doing will prevent household electronics from ending up in landfills, diverting them back into the circular economy, while providing a convenient way for people to do the right thing for the planet.”
Individuals who participate and send in an eligible device will receive 30% off the purchase of a new Panasonic MultiShape device.
The MultiShape itself is an example of the company’s commitment to sustainability, and an example of its Panasonic GREEN IMPACT initiative coming to life in its product design. Panasonic MultiShape is the first integrated grooming system on the market. Its modular design is centered around a “base unit” handle containing the battery and motor that powers an array of interchangeable attachments, including a variety of trimmer, shaver, and toothbrush options.
A single MultiShape can replace multiple independent electronic devices, representing a more sustainable choice compared to using several electronic devices – giving people the chance to eliminate duplication of motors, rechargeable batteries, and power adaptors. MultiShape is also designed for durability with a long lifespan, reducing waste compared to disposable grooming products. In the U.S. it comes in 100% recyclable corrugated packaging, and features a toiletry bag made from 100% recycled rPET nylon.
To sign up and participate, visit the Panasonic Take Back for Tomorrow webpage.
To learn more about MULTISHAPE, visit PanasonicMultishape.com.