By Mike Murphy
Samsung Electronics Co.
Samsung Electronics Co. said Sunday it would replace plastic packaging for its products in favor of more environmentally sustainable materials.
The new materials, such as paper and recycled/bio-based plastics, will be phased in during the first half of this year, the South Korean tech giant said in a statement.
For mobile phones, tablets and wearables, Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 -0.36% said paper-pulp molds will replace plastic packaging, and bags for accessories will be replaced by “eco-friendly materials.” For larger items, such as TVs, washing machines and kitchen appliances, the protective plastic bags that cover the products will be replaced by recycled plastics and starch- or sugar-cane-based bioplastics.
The company will also make some product changes, such as eliminating the glossy exterior on phone chargers in exchange for matte finishes, thus reducing the use for plastic protective film in shipping.
By 2030, Samsung said it plans to use 500,000 tons of recycled plastics and collect 7.5 million tons of discarded products, cumulative from 2009.
“We are committed to recycling resources and minimizing pollution coming from our products,” Gyeong-bin Jeon, head of Samsung’s Global Customer Satisfaction Center, said in a statement. “We will adopt more environmentally sustainable materials even if it means an increase in cost.”
Samsung is the latest major company to pledge to reduce the use of plastic products. Earlier this month, German chemicals company BASF SE /zigman2/quotes/204280060/delayed DE:BAS +1.46% announced it had co-founded a global alliance of more than 30 companies to find ways to eliminate plastic waste. In recent months, companies such as Aramark /zigman2/quotes/204468030/composite ARMK 0.00% , Kraft Heinz /zigman2/quotes/203625533/composite KHC -2.03% and Walt Disney Co. /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS -2.20% have pledged to eliminate or significantly reduce their use of plastics.