Samsung to shift from plastic to paper

January 28, 2019 | 11:00

Tags: #climate-change #environment #environmental #green #gyeong-bin-jeon #packaging #sustainability

Companies: #samsung-electronics

Samsung Electronics has announced it is taking steps to reduce its environmental impact by switching from plastic packaging materials to paper and other environmentally-sustainable materials - including for its smartphones, tablets, and wearables.

With global temperatures rising and the overwhelming scientific consensus being it's a direct result of human impact on the environment, 'green' issues have stopped being a nice-to-have and become somewhat more urgent. While there's plenty individuals can do to lessen their environmental impact, one area is wholly out of their hands: the amount of packaging used to protect the goods they purchase, and the materials out of which they are made.

Samsung Electronics, though, has announced it is 'taking steps' to address this with a programme that will see it phasing out plastic-based packaging, where possible, across its products by 2020. 'Samsung Electronics is stepping up in addressing society's environmental issues such as resource depletion and plastic wastes,' claims Gyeong-bin Jeon, head of Samsung's Global Customer Satisfaction Centre, of the programme. 'We are committed to recycling resources and minimising pollution coming from our products. We will adopt more environmentally sustainable materials even if it means an increase in cost,' he added - though without clarifying whether that higher cost will be borne by Samsung or its customers.

The programme will see Samsung's phone, tablet, and wearable products ditching the plastic tray for pulp-paper equivalents, while the plastic bags holding accessory parts will be swapped out for sustainable materials including bio-plastics. The company is even going so far as to redesign the housing of its chargers, swapping to a matte finish and thus doing away with the plastic film traditionally used to protect the glossy finish in transit.

For white goods, the company has promised to switch from virgin plastic bags to those based on recycled plastics or bio-plastics. Samsung has also promised to use only fibre material certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Scheme, and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative for both its packaging and manuals by 2020.

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