Outmoded electronic devices usually end up in landfills due to improper waste disposal and poor recyclability of their components. However, as corporate social responsibility becomes more of a norm, some companies have considered and integrated recyclability in their product lifecycle management to promote better recovery and reusability of specific parts and components. LG Electronics is one of these companies. In fact, the South Korean based multinational electronics company manufacturers one of the most recyclable television sets.
LG Electronics received the 2015 Design for Recycling Award in April 2015 from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), specifically for its 4K Ultra HD OLED and LED TV products. Accordingly, this is the highest honour from a leading recycling industry group.
To be eligible for ISRI Design for Recycling Award, a product must be designed and manufactured to contain the maximum amount of materials that are recyclable; be easily recycled through current or newly designed recycling processes and procedures; be cost effective to recycle whereby the cost to recycle does not exceed the value of its recycled materials; and be free of hazardous materials that are not recyclable or impede the recycling process. It should also be designed and manufactured to minimise the time and cost involved to recycle the product; reduce the use of raw materials by including recycled materials and/or components; and have a net gain in the overall recyclability of the product while reducing the overall negative impact on the environment.
The ISRI mentioned that the cited LG products promote recycling in every lifecycle phase. The product designs for 4K Ultra HD, OLED, and LED TVs have the following recycling-friendly features: Mercury-free display panels; use of recycled and recyclable plastics; inclusion of PVC- and BFR-free components; smaller and lighter packaging; ease of disassembly; and standardised materials and connection types.
Dr. Nandhu Nandhakumar, senior vice president at the LG Technology Center of America, said, “Our Design for Recycling initiatives represent a key element of LG’s Green Product Strategy under the company’s strategic roadmap to develop products that reduce negative environmental impacts throughout the lifecycle, especially when they are ready for recycling.
“LG’s industry-leading OLED and ULTRA HD TVs recognised by ISRI embody LG’s strategic direction for products with greener features designed to reduce the environmental load at every stage of the product lifecycle.
“We look for ways to improve product recyclability before we begin developing a product, and reduce negative environmental impacts by designing our products: for easier part identification and access; for easier disassembly; and for better material recyclability.”
Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, said, “Commitment to sustainability serves as a core principle for LG. The initiatives they have undertaken to increase product recyclability, improve resource efficiency, and expand the use of recycled materials within the manufacturing process made LG a perfect selection for this year’s award. ISRI is proud to present the 2015 Design for Recycling Award to LG for prioritising recyclability in the design and manufacture of its products.”
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries has been presenting the Design for Recycling Award for the last 25 years. Previous winners include Dell, Inc., Cascades Fine Papers Group, Coca-Cola Recycling Company, Hewlett-Packard, The Herman Miller Company, and Wind Simplicity. ISRI is committed to promoting recycling and providing companies with education and compliance training to integrate recycling in the different facets of their operations.