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Samsung expands sustainability pledge with its latest Galaxy devices

The new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 phones, as well as the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are made up of more recycled materials than ever before.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer
Samsung Unpacked incorporating recycled materials
Image: Samsung

During the Samsung Unpacked event on Tuesday, Samsung announced it's going more green in its new Galaxy products with more recycled materials.

The company said 90% of Galaxy devices launched/launching this year include at least one component made of recycled material. The new Galaxy Z series announced during the event contain eco-conscious materials like repurposed fishing nets. The Galaxy Buds2 Pro are even more eco-friendly, as 90% of the plastic components are made with recycled materials.

Samsung said there are currently 11 Galaxy devices that have recycled/repurposed fishing nets, including the Galaxy Book2 Pro series and the Galaxy Tab S8 series. The first devices to include recycled components were Samsung's Galaxy S22 lineup that launched earlier this year. 

The repurposing of fishing nets allows Samsung to minimize this plastic pollution that the Food and Agriculture Organization says equates to 640,000 tons of abandoned fishing nets in the ocean annually.

In addition, the packaging you get these devices in is eco-conscious: Samsung said it reduced the volume of packaging for Galaxy Z Flip 4 by 52.8% and for Galaxy Z Fold 4 by 58.2% to reduce its environmental footprint in the transportation and shipping of these products.

Samsung said it uses 100% recycled paper for all its flagship packaging, which saves about 51,000 trees.

It's all part of Samsung's ambitious Galaxy for the Planet vision, which was announced at last year's Unpacked event. Samsung pledges to reduce its environmental footprint and lessen resource depletion from production to disposal of its Galaxy products by 2025.

Also: The best green phones: Sustainable and eco-friendly devices 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), e-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream, with 57 million tons of e-waste generated in 2021 and expected to grow by 2 million tons per year.

And, since the tech industry is responsible for tons of electronic waste and 2% to 3% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, companies like Samsung are starting to take note.

While there are still not a ton of sustainable phone options on the market, Samsung's Galaxy lineup, as well as Apple's latest iPhone models, include recycled parts and packaging. These eco-friendly devices are generally built to last longer than the average smartphone, which reduces the amount of e-waste by keeping your phone active for longer.

For those phones that you do end up replacing, Samsung's Galaxy Upcycling at Home program repurposes those phones into smart home devices like medical devices for childcare or pet care. However, it's important to note the program only currently accepts Galaxy S, Note, and Z series phones released since 2018 running Android 9 and above. Still, Samsung says more devices will be supported in the future.

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