Sony to sell its recycled plastic on open market

Consumer products company finds success with its SORPLAS flame-retardant recycled plastic.

August 20, 2014

Sony Corp. has announced that starting Oct. 1, 2014, it will begin selling its flame-retardant recycled plastic, SORPLAS (Sustainable Oriented Recycled Plastic), outside its Sony Group. The company will target the sale of the recycled plastic to manufacturers in Japan and abroad.

The company says SORPLAS plastic is made up of polycarbonate plastic recycled from materials such as optical discs from discarded DVDs and optical sheets (light-diffusing films) used in LCD televisions. The recycled materials use Sony's sulfur-based flame retardant to achieve a durable, heat-resistant plastic that uses up to 99-percent-recycled materials.

Conventionally, scrap polycarbonate plastic disposed of at manufacturing plants and other facilities has been reused by adding large amounts of new polycarbonate plastic and flame retardant. The additional process is needed to satisfy the flame resistance and strength requirements of consumer electronics products.

In deciding to market its SORPLAS to companies outside Sony, the company notes that it is seeking to promote the recycling of resources and contribute to a lower environmental impact on society by offering the different grades of its recycled SORPLAS outside the Sony Group.

Sony adds that the recycled plastic will be sold at prices comparable to more conventional flame-retardant polycarbonate plastic.

According to Sony, some of the advantages of its SORPLAS are:

  • The sulfur-based flame retardant achieves flame resistance equivalent to conventional flame-retardant recyclable polycarbonate plastic but with only the tiniest amount of flame retardant—less than 1 percent of the total mass.
  • The required weight of flame retardant is so small that conventional properties of the plastic can be retained.
  • CO2 emissions can be dramatically reduced because only a small amount of new polycarbonate plastic and flame retardant needs to be added. Similarly, only a small amount of flame retardant is required, so the properties of the plastic can be retained, even when recycled repeatedly. This in turn helps contribute to reduced environmental impact.