According to the news report by Fortune, Samsung Group announced on Sunday that it was going to replace its plastic packaging with sustainable, eco-friendly materials.
The conglomerate stated that it was replacing the plastic packaging it was currently using for its phones, tablets and accessories with recycled or bio-based plastics and paper from the first half of this year.
The company issued a statement that Samsung Electronics had formed a task force to revamp product packaging. This task force would be responsible for designing, developing, buying, marketing and controlling the quality of the new packaging. Samsung also promised that it would be using 500,000 tons of recycled plastic and would also collect 7.5 tons of scrap products by 2030.
In addition to this, Samsung stated that the plastic bags that were currently being used to protect their larger home appliance products such as televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, etc. would be replaced with bioplastics and recycled bags made from non-fossil fuel materials like sugar cane and starch or from plastic waste.
Tech Crunch gave further details on the story. According to the publication, the plastic trays that are currently being used to hold Samsung tablets and phones will be replaced with trays made from pulp.
Added to that, the electronics giant has also stated that it will be changing its phone chargers’ design. The company will replace the glossy finish with a matte exterior, thereby eliminating the need for plastic films that are used to protect them.
The company has also promised that by the year 2020, it will only use only fiber materials for packing and instruction manuals that have been certified by environmental organizations such as Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Scheme, the Forest Stewardship Program as well as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
The Global Customer Satisfaction Center head Gyeong-bin Jeon stated that Samsung was working towards minimizing waste and also acknowledged the dangers of environmental issues such as plastic waste and resource depletion. He also stated that Samsung was committed to this course of action even if it meant an increase in costs for the company.
Engadget gave a more prosaic analysis of this announcement. According to this publication, this new initiative by Samsung is not entirely selfless. The company has been facing a lot of flack from environmental groups across the globe for not having a clear environmental plan.
This criticism had already impacted company events. At the company’s 2017 Mobile World Congress conference, a Greenpeace activist stormed the gathering. Therefore, this move by the Korean electronics giant is also a public image management tactic.
Having said that, it is still a significant move that the company has made. Samsung is by far one of the biggest electronics companies in the world. And by moving towards greener alternatives, this one company alone will eliminate huge amounts of waste.
In addition to reducing waste, the company will also set an example for other technology giants that are still using large amounts of plastic and other non-environmentally friendly materials in their packaging.
In 2017, Greenpeace attacked the e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. and Chinese phone makers Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi for a lack of environmental consciousness.
While no company has been given an “A” grade for its environmental practices (this includes using renewable energy, toxin-free materials and sustainable products), there are two companies that have earned slightly higher ratings that their other technology counterparts.
Apple has been given a B- rating, with two major issues – using hard to repair devices and being opposed to the Right to Repair laws. The highest rated technology company is Fairphone, which has been given a B rating by environmentalists.