Sustainability is more than recycling fishing nets

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(Prototype credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

Sustainability isn’t a new idea, just it has become a major talking point for companies that make tech products. Samsung, one of the biggest manufacturers of consumer goods in the earth, once again proved this during its 2022 Milky way Unpacked event.

This is i of those good things we all like to meet. I know I am more than inclined to spend my money with a company that tries to conserve natural resources and cutting back on tossing more than waste product into the landfill. I’m certain I’m not the only one, either.

I definitely want to praise Samsung for being more eco-friendly than it has been in the by, but I likewise want more. Maybe I desire more considering Samsung isn’t telling the states the whole story about the efforts information technology has made in beingness more sustainable. Or maybe Samsung knows that it just isn’t doing plenty.

Recycling is smart business organisation

Cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

(Image credit: BBC)

Recycling onetime angling nets and paper-thin is smart for plenty of reasons. Ane of the nearly important reasons, if you’re an industry giant, is cost savings. Plastic net cloth melted into pellets, and so used to brand phone parts, is cheaper than synthesizing new plastic. So long as the manufacturing procedure has been refined to produce quality parts using sub-standard source materials. Ditto for turning old boxes into new boxes.

Making boxes smaller by omitting things like chargers also means less cardboard makes its way into the landfill from people who can’t be bothered to recycle. Information technology as well means that Samsung saves a ton of money on shipping considering more than products fit into the shipping container.

I’thousand not maxim that money is the only reason companies similar Samsung are doing it. I desire to believe that the people in accuse actually give a damn about the environmental affect so I am going to believe it until something comes along that proves otherwise. But I can’t aid but be a little skeptical.

Using dirty erstwhile materials to brand shiny new things is not like shooting fish in a barrel, but it is necessary.

At that place are plenty of other parts that are undoubtedly built with recycled materials inside a phone like the Galaxy Z Fold 4. Aluminum, cobalt, magnesium, steel, copper, and more are non-renewable resources with scrap in arable supply. Samsung
to be using them just similar every other company making phones is using them.

Turning scrap metals into new parts isn’t easy, but the culling is even worse. These materials volition run out eventually, and often times getting metals like cobalt out of the ground happens under hellish conditions. Other times, equally is the case for lithium, it absolutely destroys the environs by draining groundwater supplies.

Samsung repurposing ocean plastics graphic

(Image credit: Samsung)

Ane initiative that Samsung has undertaken that is astonishing — and worth more praise than I could ever requite — is its reforestation projects. Yous probably don’t know this, and I certainly didn’t until I started looking for it, but Samsung has planted 2 million trees in Madagascar
(opens in new tab)

Yes, in that location is the whole carbon credit
thing, so Samsung benefits from this. Still, the simple fact is that pocket-size undeveloped nations are cutting down forests to turn into pocket-size developed nations at a record stride. Any company that spends coin and fourth dimension to assist keep a identify like Madagascar green is a company we all should desire to practise business organization with.

From 2002 to 2021, Republic of madagascar lost 949kha of humid primary woods, making up 22% of its total tree encompass loss

I worry that the reason Samsung isn’t telling united states what percent of its parts are sourced from reclaimed metals is that even it knows the number isn’t high plenty. Look no further than Samsung’s own sustainability portal
(opens in new tab)

to see that information technology spends fourth dimension and money on environmentally friendly policies.

Most of these are about recycling plastic and paper, or ways to trade in your former telephone so you can buy a new phone — policies that benefit Samsung more than any of u.s.. Very little space is used to tell us well-nigh Samsung reclaiming gold or cobalt from recycled phones.

I want Samsung to do better. If a small company like Fairphone can build a phone made with 100% ethically sourced or recycled materials, then an industrial titan like Samsung can exercise the same.

And if Samsung
doing it, I desire to hear about information technology.

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There’s nothing he can’t take apart, simply many things he tin can’t reassemble. You’ll detect him writing and speaking his loud stance on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.