You might feel less guilty about switching Samsung phones every year when you realize that it might be helping get rid of some of the biggest dangers to marine ecology.
The sheer volume of phones produced each year means that there is also a growing number of waste materials that pile up in landfills. It also means that there is a growing number of non-sustainable materials that are being produced to create these devices. Being one of the biggest smartphone makers in the world, Samsung is naturally one of the biggest culprits as well, and it’s announcing another major step forward it is taking to minimize its negative impacts on the environment.
Designer: Giuseppe Spinelli (Snoreyn)
Almost everything about a smartphone is non-sustainable, from the very materials they are made of to the processes used to make them. There are existing alternatives to these common components, but the existing mechanisms in place make switching to sustainable materials less feasible. Fortunately, phone makers have started to take heed of their responsibility in making the world a better place for future generations.
Image Credit: iFixit
Samsung’s next step is to replace the plastics it uses inside phones with recycled fishing nets. It cites figures that 640,000 tons of fishing nets are discarded annually, turning them into the biggest dangers to marine life, bigger than plastic bottles and bags. Repurposing these ocean-bound plastics doesn’t extinguish the use of plastics in phones, but it at least reduces the need to produce new plastic that will eventually add to more waste.
The tech giant says that it will be introducing the first devices to use this kind of recycled plastic at its next event, hinting at the Galaxy S22 series and possibly the Galaxy Tab S8 series. Samsung has also switched to using recycled materials for some of its phones’ packaging and made the controversial decision to remove chargers from the box in the of sustainability.
These are baby steps for a company as big as Samsung, and we could only wish it would do more. Increasing the repairability of phones and making a hard push for recycling or upcycling phones will also help a lot in reducing the waste that these consumer electronics devices produce year after year. Unfortunately, it’s exactly these big companies that take longer to change their old habits and switch to more sustainable practices and materials, so every small step still counts towards achieving that goal.
Designer: Technizo Concept