Biodegradability is an effective marketing strategy these days as consumers become more environmentally conscious, and now Samsung Electronics is getting on board by announcing plans to do away with plastic packaging in favor of more eco-friendly materials.
In ad bid to get the effort off the ground, Samsung has put together an internal task force for design, material purchase, marketing, and more, all focused on getting materials that are bad for the environment out of Samsung's wares.
The changes will begin rolling out throughout the first half of this year, and will affect Samsung's entire product lineup. Soon, expect to see smartphones with biodegradable holders rather than the plastic ones that they've been sold with, and lacking the thin plastic screen protectors that most people simply replace with their own or just peel off upon getting the phone anyway. Plastic bags in packing materials, meanwhile, will be replaced with biodegradable or eco-friendly alternatives like recycled materials, sugar cane bags, and bioplastics.
Samsung is seemingly going all-in on this effort, and is going to be trotting out changes to just about every aspect of how it handles packaging. Paper products, for example, will be used only when necessary, and will be made only with materials approved by the Forest Stewardship Council. This particular goal is supposed to be completed by the end of this year.
The effort will also be applied to Samsung's appliances, which typically have large amounts of plastic protecting them during shipping. The company will be cutting out hundreds of tons of plastic production and waste, among other efforts during this initiative. To put it all to numbers, Samsung wants to use 500,000 tons of recycled material, and collect, and potentially reuse, 7.5 million tons of waste, all by 2030. These goals build upon numbers that the company has been working on since 2009.
Some Samsung products in the past, like the Galaxy S5, have come with recyclable or eco-friendly packaging. Samsung has also put out eco-friendly products before, like the Sprint-exclusive Replenish, a QWERTY candybar from back in the Android Market days. This initiative seeks to dial those efforts up a notch, and essentially eliminate packaging elements across all product lines that aren't recycled, biodegradable, or otherwise eco-friendly.
There is a lot of talk these days about ways to offset your own carbon footprint and live a more eco-friendly life. The usual rebuttal, however, is that individuals taking long showers or not recycling store bags isn't at the heart of the issue, but rather large companies who engage in the production of waste and pollution on a massive scale. Producing and working with plastics, fossil fuels, and other non-renewable resources is almost certain to cause colossal amounts of waste production, after all. With this announcement, Samsung seeks to no longer be one of those companies.
When such a change is made by one of the largest consumer electronics outfits in the world, currently occupying the global smartphone throne, other companies are bound to take notice. Whether they all follow suit, only time will tell, but until they do, Samsung will enjoy more clout and mindshare with environmentally-conscious consumers.