Samsung will use more recycled and ocean-bound plastic in its Galaxy devices. During a media roundtable, the company said that 50 per cent of its Galaxy products will incorporate recycled plastic resin by 2030, with plans to increase that number to 100 per cent by 2050.
“Every year, around 640,000 tons of fishing nets end up in our oceans, posing a serious threat to our marine ecosystem. Some of these discarded fishing nets are already in the ocean, and some are making their way into the ocean,” said Pranveer Singh Rathore, Materials R&D Manager, Samsung Electronics, during the media roundtable.
As part of Samsung’s current ocean-bound waste recycling program, a partner company collects, segregates, cuts, cleans and extrudes some of these fishing nets. But using this extruded resin poses challenges. These nets are typically made of nylon and they absorb moisture and water. This, combined with long-term exposure to seawater, sunlight, humidity and temperature means that the physical properties of the material deteriorate significantly. This makes it difficult to upcycle this material for use in smartphones and other devices.
In order to overcome the issue, Samsung worked with a different partner in South Korea to devise a method to upcycle these recycled plastic pellets into a high-performance polyamide material that is waterproof, dustproof and capable of withstanding harsh conditions. This material is then injection moulded to create small parts, like the inner cover of the S Pen on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
“Starting with Galaxy S22 earlier this year and now with the new Galaxy Foldables and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, we are scaling up the use of this innovative material. By the end of 2022, we hope to prevent more than 50 tons of discarded fishing nets from entering our oceans,” added Rathore.
According to Rathore, all the products launched during Samsung’s August “Unpacked” event used at least one component made out of either ocean-bound plastics or other post-consumer plastics.
Further, Samsung is also bringing eco-conscious innovation to its packaging. “We use 100 per cent recycled paper in the packaging for the Galaxy S22, Flip4 and the Fold4. This is equivalent to preventing 51,000 trees from being cut down. We also reduced the package volume of the Flip4 and Fold4 by 50 per cent compared to the first-generation devices. This allowed us to save over 10,000 tons of carbon emissions from transportation,” Rathore said.