Samsung Sets Principles of Recycling Returned Galaxy Note 7’s Ahead of Galaxy S8 Announcement

Samsung Sets Principles of Recycling Returned Galaxy Note 7’s Ahead of Galaxy S8 Announcement

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If you were watching Samsung’s Mobile World Congress 2017 live stream, you might have witnessed a protester come on stage during Samsung Electronics Europe’s Chief Marketing Officer’s, David Lowes, opening statement. The protester accomplished their purpose as they got Mr. Lowes to respond, “I think you’ve made your point”.

The incident at the time was not paid all that much attention as Samsung did not prominently feature the protestor during their live stream, obviously. Later, SamMobile revealed that the protester was from Greenpeace, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that focuses on environmental issues, and their topic of contention was the opacity of Samsung’s handling of the returned Galaxy Note 7‘s that were deemed dangerous for use. The protester’s flag bore the Samsung logo, a #GalaxyNote7 hashtag, and a recycle logo with the words “Rethink, Reuse, Recycle.

Samsung did not directly comment on the incident beyond the stating their commitment to environmental friendliness, until now. While not directly addressing the concerns of Greenpeace, Samsung has mentioned in a blog post that it has set principles to recycle the returned Galaxy Note 7 devices in an “environmentally friendly way.”

Samsung Electronics has established three “principles” to ensure that Galaxy Note 7’s are recycled and processed in an environmentally-friendly manner.

  1. Samsung will first consider selling the Note 7’s as refurbished phones or rental phones where applicable. Applicability of these devices will depend on consultations with regulatory authorities and carriers as well as due consideration of local demand. Samsung will release market info and release dates accordingly.
  2. Second, salvageable components shall be removed from remaining Note 7 devices. Components like semiconductors and camera modules will be detached by companies specializing in such services and will be used for “test sample production” purposes.
  3. And third, for left over component recycling, Samsung shall first extract precious metals, such as copper, nickel, gold and silver by “utilizing eco-friendly companies specializing in such processes.”

Finally, Samsung also plans to join the EU’s R&D and test efforts to develop new eco-friendly processing methods.

The most interesting part of Samsung’s announcements are not the measures, but the timing of the announcement. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have a lot riding on them for Samsung’s reputation, and Samsung will want no trouble on the event which will be the first official look of the devices. Addressing the issues such a short time before the event also gives the whole series of events a positive touch right before the important event, and gives less time for environment focused NGOs to criticize the future actions (or the lack thereof).

At the end, we can be glad that Samsung does not want to simply dump all the Note 7’s in a landfill. Adopting sensible approaches to recycling will net the company more brownie points with all of its stakeholders, and we appreciate the effort.

What are your thoughts on Samsung’s policies with the returned Note 7’s? Would you buy a refurbished Note 7? Let us know in the comments below!


Source: Samsung Newsroom