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Samsung dumps plastic packaging

Samsung Electronics announced that it will start taking steps this year to replace plastic packaging materials with paper and other environmentally sustainable elements.

The company reports that 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 has formed a task force involving design and development, purchasing, marketing and quality control for plastic-free 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. The company will also alter the phone charger design, swapping the glossy exterior with a matte finish and removing the need for plastic protection films.

Plastic bags used to protect the surface of home appliances such as TVs, kitchen appliances, air conditioners, and washing machines will also be replaced with bags containing recycled materials and bioplastics. These materials will be made from plastic wastes and non-fossil fuel products like starch or sugar cane.

Regarding paper, Samsung will only use fibre 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 Centre. “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).

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