Samsung Electronics, Seoul, has announced that it will start taking steps this year to replace virgin plastic packaging with paper and other "environmentally sustainable elements."
Starting in the first half of 2019, the packaging used for Samsung’s products and accessories will be substituted with environmentally sustainable materials, including recycled or biobased plastics and paper, the company says.
To revamp its product packaging, Samsung Electronics says it has formed a task force involving design and development, purchasing, marketing and quality control for innovative packaging ideas.
For its mobile phones, tablets and wearable products, Samsung says it will replace the plastic used for holder trays with molded pulp, while bags wrapping accessories will be made with eco-friendly materials. Samsung also will alter its 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, also will be replaced with bags containing recycled materials and bioplastics.
Regarding the paper used in its packaging, Samsung says it will only use fiber materials certified by global environmental organizations such as 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,” says 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 midterm implementation plan to only use paper packaging materials certified by forestry initiatives by next year. By 2030, Samsung aims to use 500,000 tons of recycled plastics and collect 7.5 million tons of discarded products (both cumulative from 2009).