We are living in the digital age. The tactile pleasures of opening a new music CD or leafing through the pages of a book will be completely lost on future generations. Why waste the space and resources on hard copies of music, books, or movies when the can be downloaded from the cloud at any given moment? So we swap our paper backs for e-readers and our CDs for iTunes. But what happens to all the discs this digital shift leaves behind?
IT manufacturer Fujitsu found a way to upcycle outdated CDs and DVDs into something more than an arts and crafts project. The company recently unveiled an innovative recycling system that collects used CDs and DVDs and reuses the plastic in the bodies of new notebook PCs.
To avoid the risk of contaminants being mixed into the recycled plastic, the new recycling system performs quality control based on a chemical substances risk management database developed by Fujitsu Laboratories, thereby ensuring that the notebooks comply with legal requirements for chemical components. Compared to conventional notebook PC manufacturing processes, Fujitsu expects this system to reduce the amount of newly produced plastic used by 10 tons per year while cutting CO2 emissions by approximately 15 percent.
Revmodo reports that the new system has already been implemented at five of the company’s recycling plants across Japan. The recycled plastic is used to make the front panel of Fuji’s LIFEBOOK P772/E notebook PC. Going forward, Fujitsu says it will expand the use of this system to support other recycled materials in addition to CDs and DVDs and to employ these plastics in other products.