Rewind back to October 2016 and you’ll remember the farce that was the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

The short-lived smartphone was quickly discontinued after a number of them “blew up”. With over 4 million handsets recalled, the escapade could be a potential eWaste disaster.

Well, Samsung has released its plan for sustainable handling the estimated 4.3 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones recalled.

The electronics giant set out three tactics that would make sure the devices “are recycled and processed in an environmentally-friendly manner”.


In the first instance, Samsung hopes to release devices as refurbished phones or rental phones where possible.

Where that is not possible, components that can be reused will be recycled into other products. With the majority of the devices recalled still unexploded, this should help negate a lot of the environmental concerns.

Finally, the third option would see valuable metals removed from the phone via “environmentally friendly methods.”

Samsung also announced its plans to join the European Union’s R&D and testing efforts. The aim of this is “to develop new eco-friendly processing methods”.

Positive Feedback

The move has been greeted with positive feedback from many environmental groups.

Jude Lee, a global senior campaigner at Greenpeace, said the announcement showed that Samsung had listened to consumers and campaigners.

However, he urged the company to provide more detail on its recycling plan.

“While we welcome this news, Samsung must share as soon as possible more detailed timelines on when it will implement its promises, as well as how it intends to change its production system to make sure this never happens again,” Lee said.

“The average smartphone in the US is used for about two years, adding to growing piles of e-waste around the world. This is simply not sustainable. Samsung and other IT companies such as Apple should manufacture phones that are easy to repair, refurbish, and upgrade.”

What Next?

Lee makes a good point. With technology advancing at such a fast pace, many devices quickly become out of date. There must be a focus from developers to create products that can be better upgraded to the latest technology, rather than simply heading to the scrap heap.

If the Note 7 disaster can be the moment this issue becomes a priority, then some good can come of this after all. Ultimately, we want to ensure all IT hardware can be reused or recycled to stop any waste going to landfill.

If you would like to talk to one of our team about responsibly disposing of your old IT equipment then call us on 0161 777 1000.

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