Most people who lived through the 90’s and the first decade of the millennium have tons of compact discs (CDs) and digital versatile/video discs (DVDs) sitting at their homes. Storing digital data, these discs had a variety of functions: they featured albums, movies, television shows, video games, etc. that we purchased, and sometimes, they presented files that we personally selected through the process of burning. But now they can be used to make new computers!
Internationally known Japanese brand, Fujitsu, has come up with an innovative way to maximize the usage of those discs that you have little to no use for while proudly doing its part in protecting the environment. In August 2012, Fujitsu Limited and Fujistu Laboratories Limited announced that they developed the industry’s first recycling system that would collect used CDs and DVDs and use them to create the plastic for the front panel of the Fujitsu Lifebook P772/E notebook. They will extract the polycarbonate plastic and ensure that the notebook (and other ICT devices) complies with legal requirements for chemical components through quality control performed by its chemical substances risk management database.
The recycling of CDs and DVDs is seen to be better than the recycling of personal computers and other products, which Fujitsu already does at its five recycling centers in Japan, as those products often use different types of plastic making it very difficult to control the quality of the plastic. CDs and DVDs, on the other hand, are of an optimal quality that makes them suitable for recycling. They also do not contain contaminants. Furthermore, the Fujitsu Laboratories risk management database verifies whether the plastic materials of the CD and DVD fragments that they recycle contain harmful substances.
With the advancements of technology, the use for digital discs has nearly been rendered obsolete as we can now store and share these files using our computers, flash drives, and other mobile devices. If you need to burn your playlist onto a CD, it’s more logical now to transfer the playlist onto your phone which you can physically or wirelessly connect to your car’s sound system. And if you want a copy of the latest video game, you can just buy it directly from the developer’s website. Even if you do need to burn something onto a disc, your existing discs won’t be much of a help because it’s difficult to completely erase files and reuse discs.
This is just the first step for Fujitsu on recycling end-of-life ICT products as it plans on using the system to recycle materials other than CDs and DVDs. The industry can benefit the world greatly by following the example of Fujitsu in reducing its environmental footprint.