Samsung to replace plastic packaging with “sustainable materials”
Korea’s Samsung Electronics says it 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 or bio-based plastics and paper. Samsung Electronics has formed a task force involving design and development, purchasing, marketing and quality control for innovative packaging ideas to revamp its product packaging.
Samsung plans to use more paper-based packaging for its electronic products. It will continue to use plastics in many product housings and components, although it has committed to recover more discarded products.Samsung will replace the thermoformed plastic used for holder trays for mobile phones, tablets and wearable products, with molded wood pulp packaging, and bags for wrapping accessories with eco-friendly materials. Samsung will also alter its phone charger design, swapping the glossy exterior with a matte finish and thereby eliminating the need for plastic protection film. LDPE is currently primarily used in this application.
The plastic bags typically extruded from HDPE resin and 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 derived from starch or sugar cane feedstocks.
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 waste,” 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 500,000 tonnes of recycled plastics and collect 7.5 million tonnes of discarded products (both figures being cumulative from 2009).