Samsung unveiled a "green" cell phone on Thursday at its OR@S Olympic Rendezvous event in Beijing, China in conjunction with the 2008 Summer Olympics. The new phone is the Samsung E200 Eco (right), which is made of bioplastics from plant-based materials rather than traditional petroleum-based polycarbonate plastics.
The E200 Eco also comes packaged in an easily-to-recycle box made of non-coated, recycled paper. It joins the Samsung W510 (also made of bioplastics) and F268 (the first BFR / PVC free cell phone) as part of Samsung's Green program and product line. The E200 Eco will launch in Europe in September.
Geesung Choi, President of Samsung's Telecommunication Business, said, "We are committed to being an environmentally and socially responsible corporate citizen. We strive to make more products as green as possible and to proactively set up and expand a phone recycling system."
Here's another quote from Samsung's official green policy:
Samsung is fully committed to doing what's best for the environment. Samsung launched a global Green Management Initiative in May of 1996, putting Samsung's philosophies on environmental responsibility into practice across our worldwide operations, among our suppliers and within our local communities. For mobile phones, our environmentally-friendly concept is to use bioplastics on most of the exterior cases and to use eco-friendly finishing such as water-borne coating where possible.
The significance of using bioplastics -- which are made of corn and other organic materials -- is two-fold:
- It reduces the production of non-renewable plastics
- Samsung claims that the manufacturing process for bioplastics reduces fuel consumption and produces 35% fewer CO2 emissions
So far, Samsung has only used bioplastics in phones and not any of its other plastic-based products such as televisions. The company says it is testing the use of bioplastics in other devices but does not currently have plans to introduce bioplastics in any of those product lines.
Samsung touts several other green practices for its cell phone product line:
- Reduces power consumption in its phones by offering customizable features such as the adjustment of screen brightness and a setting to power down the backlight on the screen.
- All power adapters comply with ENERGY STAR energy efficiency guidelines from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
- There are six UK RoHS-regulated substances, including mercury, cadmium, chrome, lead and certain brominated flame retardant. Sumsung stopped using all of these substances in their cell phones in January 2006.