Sony's product design, supported by SORPLAS™

Environmental considerations in product design are extremely important to Sony. We developed SORPLAS to incorporate more recycled materials and deliver high performance, to match both our product design and quality reputations.

SORPLAS delivers high quality with environmental consideration

Our twin objectives are to deliver exceptional products, and minimize their environmental impact, in line with our Road to Zero environmental goals. We developed recycled flame-retardant plastic SORPLAS to achieve these objectives.

What is SORPLAS?

More efficient resource use with SORPLAS

SORPLAS is made from used water bottles and waste optical discs collected from factories and markets, and a proprietary flame retardant. It's used in a variety of Sony and external products. SORPLAS won't degrade too much even after being recycled several times, so in the future, it's expected that SORPLAS will be recovered and reused in new products.

[1] Crush   [2] Mold   [3] Products   [4] Collect from factories/markets

Recycling optical discs from a Sony affiliated company

Crushed waste optical discs from disc manufacturer Sony Music Solutions Inc. are one of the ingredients of SORPLAS, used for the rear covers of Sony's BRAVIA™ TVs.

Features of SORPLAS

Sony's recycled plastic SORPLAS is safe, reliable, and its performance in products matches that of virgin plastics.

High recycled content, up to 99%

Recycled plastic used in electronics is typically only around 30% recycled content. Our groundbreaking sulfur-based flame retardant produces consistently high-performance plastic even when using up to 99% recycled content.

[1] SORPLAS
[2] Recycled content 99% [3] Flame retardants, other additives 1%

[4] Typical flame-retardant recycled polycarbonate plastic
[5] Recycled content 30% [6] Petroleum-based virgin plastic 55% [7] Flame retardants, other additives 15%

Helping to reduce CO2 emissions

CO2 emissions from production of SORPLAS can be reduced by approximately 72% compared to flame-retardant virgin plastic production used in the same application.

[ 1 ] Flame-retardant virgin plastic [ 2 ] SORPLAS with 95% recycled content

Temperature and humidity resistance

To allow products to be used for long periods in a variety of environments, Sony is developing degradation-resistant recycled plastics. As our proprietary formulation uses only a small amount of the flame retardant, SORPLAS has both strength and high resistance to temperature and humidity.

[1] Retention of initial molecular weight under 85℃, 80%RH [2] Time elapsed (weeks) [3] SORPLAS [4] Flame-retardant recycled PC [5] Flame-retardant virgin PC

Durability for longer product life

The reduced amount of flame retardant allows SORPLAS to achieve equal or better durability than general flame-retardant plastics. It's also robust, and has been adopted for uses such as suitcase parts and PC cases that require strength.

Into our products

Performance as good as virgin plastic

In the various products that add color to our lives, durability and esthetics also matter. As well as providing solid durability, SORPLAS has a good surface appearance, and can maintain its quality over long periods of use.

SORPLAS in BRAVIA—durability and beauty

SORPLAS achieves high recycled content while also providing durability due to its lower flame retardant content, and a beautiful non-fading exterior finish for BRAVIA TVs.

Recycled material that looks good and lasts

We have developed a special grade of resin suitable for TV rear covers which exhibits excellent strength and design, overcoming a challenge for recycled plastics. We've also done it while using an industry-leading recycled material ratio.

Dramatically reduced use of virgin plastic

The quality finish of SORPLAS makes it suitable for exterior surfaces, allowing for a significant increase in its use, and reducing virgin plastic use in BRAVIA by up to 60%.

SORPLAS in Xperia™—durability and strength

Since smartphones are used in a variety of environments, they must be both robust and durable.

Internal parts require robustness and complex shapes

Prioritizing high strength and durability, even compared to virgin plastic, has allowed SORPLAS to be adopted for major internal parts.

Successfully reducing virgin plastic use

The introduction of SORPLAS into XPERIA devices has allowed virgin plastic use in internal parts to be reduced by 27%.

SORPLAS in cameras—strength

Our proprietary recycled plastic SORPLAS is used for the exterior and internal parts of some vlog cameras and digital cameras, without compromising quality or functionality.

Developer interview

Designing for the environment with recycled materials

Yasunobu Kawasaki

Product Design Division 2,
TV Business Group, Home Entertainment & Sound Products Business Group,
Sony Corporation

In TV we've long been designing to reduce environmental impact, and actively using SORPLAS, which contains a high proportion of recycled material. In order to increase the amount of SORPLAS used, from 2021 we started using SORPLAS for the rear covers of some models. We started material development with Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation in 2018, but it requires a high level of design know-how to adopt the material for large-area exterior parts such as rear covers of TVs. After repeated prototyping and recipe improvement we developed a grade suitable for rear covers. This has enabled us to contribute to the reduction of virgin plastic usage. Through our BRAVIA design activities we will continue to contribute to further reductions in environmental impact going forward.

The journey to SORPLAS

Yasuhito Inagaki

SORPLAS Business Office,
System Solutions Business Division,
Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation

SORPLAS was born from research that began about 20 years ago, based on a strong desire to convert waste plastic from business sites into a resource with high added value. First, we had to make practical a proprietary flame retardant that shows high flame retardancy in polycarbonate resin with extremely small amounts. SORPLAS blends that flame retardant and various additives with recycled materials such as used water bottles and waste optical discs from factories and markets, to create a flame-retardant recycled plastic with beautiful luster and high durability while achieving up to 99% recycled content. SORPLAS with a wide variety of resin properties has already been put to practical use, but going forward we will continue development to expand the range of applications and contribute further to the environment.

Movie: "What do you do for this planet?"
Further information about SORPLAS™