Dire straits at OEMs affects e-scrap recovery
By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling
Executives at large electronics recycling firms have expressed growing concern about the status of several large producers of electronics.
As one executive asked at a recent meeting of the e-scrap division of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, "Will money-losing OEMs continue to financially support voluntary take-back schemes?"
His question is key to the issue. Several large OEMs recently reported large losses. Panasonic says it will lose about $9.6 billion this year and Sony lost nearly $200 million in the last quarter. The biggest loser is Sharp, whose executives have stated that the firm may be forced out of business. The company lost $5.6 billion this year and reported it has "serious negative cash flow," thus calling into question the likelihood it and other OEMs will be willing to pay e-scrap processors to manage electronics recycling take-back schemes on their behalf.