Closing the Materials Loop

Product Recycling Services

Can’t repair or reuse your product? Then recycling is your best alternative.

Circular Economy

Philips’ transition to a circular economy.


As part of our EcoVision we aim to double the collection and recycling of its end-of-life products, as well as the amount of recycled materials used in Philips products by 2015.

For a sustainable world, we see the transition from a linear to a circular economy as a necessary boundary condition. A circular economy aims to decouple economic growth from the use of natural resources and ecosystems by using those resources more effectively. By definition it is a driver for innovation in the areas of material-, component- and product reuse, as well as new business models such as solutions and services.


Read more about our journey on Circular Economy and below you will read more about our activities to close the materials loop.


Our target is to double the global collection and recycling and the amount of recycled materials in our products by


As a leading brand in Health and Well-being, we want to improve people’s quality of life through meaningful innovation and we aim to achieve that by using our planet’s limited resources in a sustainable way. This calls for Philips to continuously work on the environmental performance of our products, which includes designing for energy efficiency, chemical content of products, life time reliability and recyclability amongst others factors.

In 2013 we restated the 2009 baseline for global collection and recycling amounts at around 22,500 tonnes (excluding TV and AVM&A), based on the data retrieved from the WEEE collection schemes and from our own recycling and refurbishment services (mainly Healthcare). The amount of collection and recycling for 2012 (reported in 2013) was calculated at 31,000 tonnes, excluding AVM&A (which was calculated at 9,000 tonnes). A small improvement compared to 2011 due to an increase in recycled products in Healthcare.


Approach on Recycling Schemes

Philips supports the principle of Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR) as introduced in article 8.2 of the WEEE Directive. We therefore actively cooperate with our industry partners; the recycling community and other stakeholders to further develop these systems and their supporting financial mechanisms to create the boundary conditions to make IPR work.


Philips supports the setup of recycling infrastructures together with industry partners, where we share a common strategy: creating sustainable financing schemes which guarantee the effective and environmentally sound collection and recycling of WEEE. This approach has proven to be successful in reducing environmental impact, minimizing the costs to society of these activities, raising consumer awareness, and increasing effectiveness of recycling.


This graph shows the amount of WEEE collected over the years. Refer to this document to see the methodology and metrics used to calculate the third EcoVision key performance indicator.



WEEE collected

Recycled materials in our products
To stimulate the use of recycled plastics we have set a target to use 3500 tons of recycled plastic in 2015. We calculate our performance by multiplying the weight of the recycled plastics per product and the number of products sold. Information on the amount of recycled polymers in plastics is provided by our suppliers.


We calculated the amount of recycled materials in our products in 2013 at some 14,000 tonnes (2012: 15,000 tonnes), by focusing on the material streams plastics, aluminum, refurbished products, and spare parts harvesting depending on the relevance in each sector.

Below you can see a graph illustrating the amount of recycled plastics used in our consumer lifestyle products. The two types are, Post-Consumer Recycled plastics (PCR) and Post Industrial Recycled plastics (PIR).


Using Recycled plastic in our Products



Overview of recycled plastics in products

Design for Recyclability
Recyclability – including designing for disassembly – is critical to reduce the environmental impact of our products at the end of their life and reduce the costs of recycling. This is one of the areas we focus on in our EcoDesign approach, as we work to continuously improve the overall environmental performance of our products.


Philips Healthcare’s Diamond Select program provides reliable refurbished imaging systems. Systems are refurbished and fully tested using the highest possible international standards and sold under a full warranty that is equal to new. Refurbished systems enable more patients to have access to up-to-date technology while helping governments mitigate the rising costs of healthcare. A large amount of the system’s parts is reused contributing to a high percentage of recycled materials in Philips products. Depending on the system type up till 98% of the system parts are reused and tested.


A new promising initiative with high potential is the reuse of components for the servicing of medical devices. For more information about Diamond Select products, click here.

Cooperation and partnerships

StEP (Solving the E-waste Problem)
Philips is a  member of the Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP) initiative, which is a UN supported global public-private initiative. StEP charter members include Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Dell, Ericsson, and Cisco Systems, along with governmental, NGO and academic institutions, as well as recycling and refurbishing companies.


The primary goals of this initiative are to standardize recycling processes globally to harvest valuable components in electrical and electronic scrap (e-scrap), extend the life of products and markets for their reuse, and harmonize world legislative and policy approaches to e-scrap.


To learn more about StEP please visit


An example of how the StEP initiative works in practice is our cooperation with other electronics companies in Africa. Since 2011, Philips has worked with HP, Nokia, Dell and Reclaimed Appliances in the e-waste solutions alliance for Africa. The Alliance is working together with several African governments on the set up of regional and national e-waste legislation. The goal of the Alliance is to facilitate the development of practical solutions for e-waste management in Africa resulting in sustainable solutions for the collection, recovery and recycling of waste from electrical and electronic equipment.


En.lighten initiative
The en.lighten initiative was created in 2009 as a partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme ("UNEP"), two representatives of the Lighting Industry with the support of the Global Environment Facility. The National Lighting Test Centre became a partner in 2011.  The en.lighten initiative has currently 44 partner countries.


The en.lighten initiative addresses the challenge of accelerating global market transformation to environmentally sustainable lighting technologies by developing a coordinated global strategy and providing technical support for the phase-out of inefficient lighting.


UNEP is in the process of piloting 32 countries during 2012 – 2013 aiming to establish collection and recycling activity for the environmentally sound management of lighting equipment in these countries. Philips Lighting provides strategic and practical support to introduce energy efficient lighting in these countries along with collection & recycling programs.




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