LG Electronics expects to dramatically increase use of recycled plastics during the next decade, with aggressive increases by both 2025 and 2030.
The Seoul-based company used about 22,000 tons (20,000 metric tons) of recycled plastics last year for interior parts in products including televisions, monitors, washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners and speakers.
The plan is to increase that total "more than tenfold by 2025," LG said, and begin using recycled materials for exterior parts as well.
Ultimately, the company seeks to use almost 660,000 tons (600,000 metric tons) in products by 2030.
In concert with a greater focus on recycled plastics, LG also is lessening use of virgin resin. This includes increasing the number of television models with less new plastic to 18 this year compared with 14 last year. This move, alone, will cut the use of virgin material by up to 11,000 tons (10,000 metric tons), LG said.
An increased use of recycled resin is part of a larger push by the company to reduce greenhouse gas emissions "throughout the entire product life cycle from production and transportation to use and disposal," LG said in a statement.
To help supply the additional recycled plastic needed to meet the new goals, LG expects to increase the amount of electronic waste the company recovers from 4.95 million tons (4.5 million metric tons) in 2006 to 8.8 million tons (8 million metric tons by 2030).
"LG is implementing initiatives to take back and recycle electronic waste in 52 countries. In South Korea, the LG Chilseo Recycling Center, which opened in 2001, not only takes back electronic waste but also manufactures new components from the recycled plastic and delivers them to the nearby LG's home appliance plant for use in products such as refrigerators," the company said.
Workers at the recycling center, which takes in a variety of used electronics and appliances, initially manually remove what plastic they can recover.
Used goods then are crushed and machine sorted into constituents, including plastic and metal. Those plastics are then sorted and reprocessed into recycled pellets at another facility, the company said.