Out with the old, in with the recycled for Sony TVs

Sony has begun using recycled plastic from old TV sets in its new Bravia LCD models.

Consider it a blast from the past: that space hogging TV from 10 years ago creeping back into your living room in a reincarnated form. This scenario is quite possible as Sony's latest sleek Bravia flat-panel TVs now contain plastic components partially recycled from old television sets.

The company gathers the plastic shells of old Sony TVs from recycling plants and also collects excess styrofoam from its production facilities, both of which are transformed into plastic pellets. These pellets are used to create the back panels and some internal plastic components on the latest Bravia television sets.

The whole recycling and production process takes place in Sony's main television manufacturing plant in Inazawa in central Japan.

"We started preparing for this project 10 years ago by ensuring that all the plastic used in old Sony television sets was recyclable," says Masayoshi Ishida of Sony's TV Business Group, speaking at the Display 2008 Expo in Tokyo.

This foresight not only helps Sony achieve its green goals, but also has financial benefits.

The company saves about 10 percent of the cost of producing plastic by using recycled parts, according to Toshihiko Uchiyama, general manager of Sony's Environmental Affairs Department. He also said that they aim to strengthen recycling efforts, especially within the television business, beginning this month.

The launch of the "recycled" Bravia jump-starts Sony's promotion of sustainable lifestyles to consumers through products -- an activity CEO Howard Stringer is adamant to push.

Sony is one of 12 companies in the World Wide Fund's (WWF) Climate Savers initiative, a group of companies that has committed to making cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Sony said it would cut emissions by 7 percent by 2010 based on 2000 figures and has already exceeded this goal with emissions down by 9 percent so far, the company said in February.