By FAN FEIFEI | China Daily | Updated: 2023-08-11 08:58

Home appliance manufacturers are pushing to recycle old household goods and launching more products that comply with green standards.

This comes as China encourages these companies to expand recycling channels and improve the reuse system for outdated items.

The National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said in a notice recently that greater efforts will be made to organize a second batch of home appliance companies to participate in the recycling of unwanted products.

According to the notice, the country will encourage e-commerce platforms to cooperate with home appliance makers, strengthen information sharing and jointly build recycling networks, to bolster consumption and green development of the home appliances industry.

Consumer electronics giant TCL Technology Group Corp has set up two companies to recycle and dismantle discarded home appliances — TCL-Aobo Environmental Protection Co in Tianjin and TCL-Deqing Environmental Protection and Development Co in Shantou, Guangdong province.

These companies have dismantled and recycled some 4.69 million disused home appliances annually, including televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and computers.

TCL said it will increase investment to establish intelligent and automated dismantling bases. It estimates that about 7 million home appliances will be dismantled by 2024, up 52 percent compared with the number so far this year.

The NDRC said 100 million to 120 million units of home appliances are discarded in China each year, and this is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 20 percent.

Sichuan Changhong Gerun Environmental Protection Technology Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Sichuan Changhong Electronics Holdings Group Co Ltd, has been engaged in the dismantling and reuse of old electronic products. It has also set up a discarded home appliance recycling and management information system.

Currently, Changhong Gerun has established more than 1,000 recycling outlets across the nation, with over 2 million units of discarded electronic devices recycled annually. A total of 18 million units of discarded products have been dismantled, the company said.

Industry insiders said the recycling and reuse of home appliances are in line with the country's intensified efforts to pursue a green, low-carbon and sustainable development path.

Home appliance giant Midea Group is accelerating steps to recycle household appliances by replacing old products with new ones and establishing online and offline recycling channels. It has cooperated with companies involved in the dismantling of discarded electronic devices.

Yin Sheng, who is in charge of the recycling business at Midea Group's intelligent home business unit, said, "The recycling of old household appliances is conducive to boosting sales of new products, propelling industrial upgrade and accelerating research and development of new products and technological advancement."

Liu Buchen, an independent researcher tracking the home appliances sector, said that at present, the country's recycling system for home appliances has made great progress, but public awareness has not kept up and there are a large number of unwanted home appliances that have not made their way to regular recycling channels.

Consumers need to get additional support to exchange old home appliances and electronics for more green, energy-saving and intelligent alternatives, and help build the whole industrial chain covering the recycling, dismantling and reuse of waste resources, he added.

Chinese home appliance enterprises should expand recycling channels and drive the popularization of energy-saving products, to boost the intelligent upgrade of the traditional home appliances industry, said Zhao Meimei, assistant president of Beijing-based market consultancy All View Cloud.

"Improving the home appliance recycling system is of great significance to the home appliance industry, as it will shorten the replacement cycle of home appliances and further tap consumers' purchasing potential for new products," said Luo Anyang, chief analyst of the home appliances industry at Cinda Securities.