Ricoh to use recycled plastics in its next-generation MFPs

ricohrecycledplastics-inRicoh has developed a new reclaimed material using commercially available recovered materials (such as plastic packaging containers and plastics used in home appliances) for repeated use. This new material will be used in the manufacture of its Multi-Function Printers (MFPs) to be marketed by Ricoh later this year. Using the newly developed reclaimed material (in addition to the recycled material reclaimed from Ricoh products collected in closed-loop recycling), Ricoh will contribute to increasing the amounts of recycled materials used in its MFPs. This will reduce the resources needed to manufacture its products. The developed reclaimed material will use plastic packaging containers collected in compliance with the Containers/Packaging Recycling Act. It will also use plastics collected in accordance with the act for recycling of specified home appliances where impurities are eliminated using technology from Green Cycle System Corporation, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric.

Nippon Steel & Sumikin Chemical Company and Ricoh jointly developed the reclaimed material that improves both fire retard attributes and strength. Although the quality of plastic materials generally deteriorates with each regeneration, the development of a recycled material that maintains quality even if it’s repeatedly regenerated was achieved. Ricoh is promoting environmental management within its mid-term and long-term environmental impact reduction goals in the fields of Energy Conservation, Resource Conservation and Recycling, and Pollution Prevention. Among these, in Resource Conservation and Recycling, its goal is to reduce the amount of new input resources required at the time of product manufacturing by 25% by 2020, compared to fiscal year 2007, and 87.5% by 2050. Regarding plastics, Ricoh has already begun using biomass materials. Also, it has developed closed-loop reprocessed plastic materials – such as the development of the recycled material with an increased percentage of recovered material. In other areas, Ricoh has jointly developed electric steel plates for MFP components from steel scrap with Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co. Ltd. These plates have already been successfully used in its MFPs.

By expanding of use of recycled material created by using commercially recovered plastic materials, which can be regenerated repeatedly, Ricoh will also reduce the petroleum used, which is directly extracted from the earth. Ricoh will start to use this material for paper trays and continue to look for other applications, and will increase the use of such materials on office imaging devices as well.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.