Samsung Electronics is jumping on the sustainability bandwagon that has become an important issue for companies and consumers alike, by announcing that they will start taking steps this year to replace plastic packaging materials with paper and other environmentally sustainable elements.
From the first half of 2019, the packaging used currently for Samsung’s products and accessories – ranging from mobile phones and tablets to home appliances – will be substituted with environmentally sustainable materials like recycled/bio-based plastics and paper.
To revamp product packaging, Samsung Electronics has formed a task force involving design and development, purchasing, marketing and quality control for innovative packaging ideas.
For mobile phone, tablet and wearable products, Samsung will replace the plastic used for holder trays with pulp moulds, and bags wrapping accessories with eco-friendly materials. Samsung will also alter the phone charger design, swapping the glossy exterior with a matte finish and eliminating plastic protection films, reducing the use of plastics.
The plastic bags used to protect the surface of home appliances such as TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines as well as other kitchen appliances will also be replaced with bags containing recycled materials and bioplastics, which are respectively made from plastic wastes and non-fossil fuel materials like starch or sugar cane.
Regarding paper, Samsung will only use fiber materials certified by global environmental organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Scheme and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative for packaging and manuals by 2020.
“Samsung Electronics is stepping up in addressing society’s environmental issues such as resource depletion and plastic wastes,” said Gyeong-bin Jeon, head of Samsung’s Global Customer Satisfaction Center. “We are committed to recycling resources and minimizing pollution coming from our products. We will adopt more environmentally sustainable materials even if it means an increase in cost.”
Under the company’s circular economy policy, Samsung Electronics has set a mid-term implementation plan to only use paper packaging materials certified by forestry initiatives by next year. By 2030, Samsung aims to use 500 thousand tons of recycled plastics and collect 7.5 million tons of discarded products (both cumulative from 2009).