Samsung ditches plastic packaging for 'sustainable materials'

Samsung ditches plastic packaging for 'sustainable materials'

Samsung's goal is to replace much of what would now be made with plastic with paper and other environmentally sustainable materials.

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.

Samsung is changing the phone charger design as well.

"To revamp product packaging, Samsung Electronics has formed a task force involving design and development, purchasing, marketing and quality control for innovative packaging ideas", said Samsung in its statement.

On top of that, Samsung's bundled chargers will ditch its glossy shiny surface for a matte finish.

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Also, plastic can usually only be recycled once, so those bags protecting Samsung's new washing machines will still end up in landfill - or worse, if they aren't disposed of responsibly. Their replacements will use recycled materials, taking plastic waste and reusing it, along with bioplastics, which are made variously from sugar cane, starch, and other renewable substances.

Under the company's circular economy policy, Samsung has set a mid-term implementation plan to only use paper packaging materials certified by forestry initiatives by next year.

The company has been the subject of protests from environmental groups in the past - a Greenpeace protester stepped onstage at a Samsung press conference in 2017 - and a report from the organisation in the same year said it was "lagging behind" in aspects of environmental policy. By 2030 Samsung hopes to have used 500 thousand tons of recycled plastics and collect 7.5 million tons of discarded products.

Samsung's new paper strategy means using environmentally friendly materials for its packaging and manuals.

The head of Samsung's Global Customer Satisfaction Center, Gyeong-bin Jeon, said the company is working to minimise waste, while it acknowledges "society's environmental issues such as resource depletion and plastic wastes".

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