Challenge 5Challenge of Establishing a Recycling-based Society and Systems

Fundamental Approach

Due to global population increase along with the pressure for economic growth and convenient lifestyles, the pace of resource consumption is accelerating. If large-scale exploitation continues as it is, natural resources will be depleted, and if waste increases due to mass consumption, appropriate disposal will be unable to keep pace, resulting in risks of environmental pollution. To prevent the environmental impact caused by End-of-life vehicles, Toyota launched the Toyota Global 100 Dismantlers Project, to establish social systems for End-of-life vehicle proper treatment. In order to realize an ideal resource recycling based society, it is necessary to grasp the risks of resource depletion and the possibility of creating business opportunities, and initiatives are needed in four key areas: (1) use eco-friendly materials, (2) use auto parts longer, (3) develop recycling technologies, and (4) manufacture vehicles from End-of-life vehicles. Toyota aims to realize the ultimate recycling-based society, and promotes the Toyota Global Car-to-Car Recycle Project (TCCR) so that we can use resources from End-of-life vehicles for manufacturing new vehicles.

Vehicle Recycling Initiatives (Videos & Reports)

Learn About Our Initiatives through Video

Toyota promotes recycling from the cradle to the grave. We aim to contribute to the development of a recycling-based society, including the building of a value chain for Car-to-Car Recycling.

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Learn About Our Initiatives through Our Booklet “Vehicle Recycling”

Toyota effectively uses the Earth’s limited resources so that the children of the future can lead rich lives. To this end, we always embark on cutting-edge initiatives in the field of resource recycling. It is our goal to contribute to the establishment of a sustainable society and the Earth.

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Vehicle Recycling

Reduce Consumption of Dwindling Natural Resources Through Use of Renewable Resources and Recycled Materials

Reduce the Use of Petroleum-derived Plastics

Since the early 1990s, Toyota has been collecting and recycling bumpers replaced at dealers as a way to reduce the usage of petroleum-derived plastics.
Some plastic parts collected from End-of-life vehicles were reused for energy as a heat source except using for used parts. Others were recycled into plastics for non-automobile use after going through a machine-automated sorting process.

Major Initiatives during FY2018

  • We teamed up with dismantling companies to continue implementation of trial tests for collecting End-of-life vehicles-derived plastics, investigated the efficient removal of foreign substances, and undertook measures to create recycled materials that can be utilized in vehicles.

Details on trends in damaged and removed bumpers collected and recovered can be found here (Environmental Data I)

Promote the Reuse of Rare Resources and Recycled Materials

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cell electric vehicles, and other electrified vehicles use significant amounts of rare resources compared with conventional gasoline vehicles. Some of these resources often carry risks such as resource depletion or uneven supply among regions. In order to promote the reuse of resources and the adoption of recycled materials, we are collaborating with partner companies to establish a framework for collecting and recycling HEV batteries and automobile motor parts, along with cemented carbide tools used in production. As of March 2018, we collected a cumulative total of 98,700 End-of-life HEV batteries. The collected batteries undergo inspection to determine which parts can be remanufactured into stationary storage batteries or vehicle replacement batteries. As of March 2018, we collected a cumulative 35 tons of magnets, recycling rare earth. As of March 2018, we recycled a cumulative total of approximately 170 tons of cemented carbide tools.

Major Initiatives during FY2018

  • Toyota and Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. commenced investigation of a large-scale storage battery system
  • Toyota developed a neodymium-reduced, heat-resistant magnet with up to 50% less neodymium, a rare earth element, for use in motors

Achieve Industry-leading Levels in Easy-to-dismantle Design for Effective Resource Recycling

To promote material recycling of End-of-life vehicles, Toyota directly visits dismantling companies in Japan and overseas to investigate actual conditions and gain insight into the development of vehicle structure that make it easy to dismantle and separate parts. We have actively adopted these designs for new models since 2003 with the launch of the Raum passenger car.

Major Initiatives during FY2018

  • Incorporated easy-to-dismantle designs in the Camry, JPN TAXI, and Lexus LS so that dismantling work such as removal of wire harnesses can be performed safely and quickly

Wiring harness Use of pull-tab type ground terminal

Contribute Worldwide Through Appropriate End-of-life Vehicle Treatment and Recycling Technology Developed in Japan

When End-of-life vehicles are not properly disposed or dismantled, this may not only affect regional environments, but also cause risks to the health and safety of local residents. To prevent these problems, we promote the Toyota Global 100 Dismantlers Project. Through this project, we aim to establish social systems for properly treating of End-of-life vehicles without imposing regional environmental impact.

Major Initiatives during FY2018

  • Toyota prepared a manual on proper dismantling of End-of-life vehicles and a video manual on airbag deployment for countries and regions that lack suitable dismantling facilities
  • Responses to the regulation on proper End-of-life vehicle recycling in Vietnam were completed
  • A vehicle dismantling facility was established in Thailand as a model for Southeast Asia

Expand Original Recycling Systems for End-of-life Vehicles Worldwide

In order to realize an ultimate recycling-based society, we promote the Toyota Car-to-Car Recycle Project (TCCR) that is based on the concepts of reduce, reuse, and recycle, aiming specifically at elimination of resource-related risks and global warming.

Trends in Global Waste Volumes and Waste Volume per Unit Produced

Major Initiatives during FY2018

  • Conducted trials with a model in Japan as a blueprint for the establishment of a global recycling-based society
  • Started initiatives to globalize battery recycling systems, with collection and recycling schemes established in each region

Reduce Waste and Use Resources Efficiently in Production Activities

Toyota strives to reduce the volume of waste from production activities by developing and deploying new production technologies while taking continual daily measures in terms of the sources of waste (design and production method innovations), resource recycling, resulting cost reductions, and so forth.
In FY2018, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) continued waste reduction activities through improvement measures such as sludge volume reduction. The total waste volume, as a result, was 32.7 thousand tons (down 3.3 percent year on year), and the waste volume per unit produced was 11.3 kg (down 3.1 percent year on year). Globally, Toyota continuously undertook waste reduction measures and made efforts that lead to cost reductions. Due to changes in the recycling market, however, a shift from selling recycling materials as valuable goods to paying for recycling and so on, the total volume of waste was 499 thousand tons (up 5.3 percent year on year), and the waste volume per unit produced was 47.4 kg (up 5.4 percent year on year).

Major Initiatives during FY2018

  • TMMT, an affiliate in Turkey, adopted innovations in the method of wrapping masking film in the C-HR painting process, reducing waste
  • TASA, an affiliate in Argentina, reviewed End-of-life battery disposal companies and achieved 100% battery recycling

Reduce Packaging and Wrapping Materials and Use Resources Efficiently in Logistics Activities

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is taking a broad range of initiatives to reduce the amount of packaging and wrapping materials used in logistics. These include increasing packaging efficiency in shipping containers, using returnable containers* to reduce the amount of unrecyclable materials used, and making packaging and wrapping materials simplified and lighter. In FY2018, TMC succeeded in reducing the amount of packaging and wrapping material per shipment unit to 6.21 kg/m3 (down 9.6 percent year on year) by making packaging and wrapping materials smaller and adopting returnable shipping containers. The total volume of packaging and wrapping materials used amounted to 45.8 thousand tons (down 10.9 percent year on year).
Also, on a global basis, Toyota continued efforts to gather and share information on best practices at each affiliate.

  • Returnable: To enable used packaging materials to be returned to original shipping points for reuse.

Trends in Total Waste Volume and Waste Volume per Unit Produced at TMC (Japan)