After the Galaxy Note7 fiasco, Samsung embarked on a quest to recapture consumer trust. But the Korean tech giant isn’t concerned only about its image, it also cares about the environment. So this week, Samsung announced it’s in the process of reviewing options in order to limit the negative environmental impact brought about by the death of the Galaxy Note7.
The truth is, Samsung was coerced into taking this step by a Greenpeace statement issued a week earlier asking the smartphone maker to find ways to re-use certain rare materials like cobalt, gold, palladium and tungsten which are to be found in the faulty Galaxy Note7 model, Samsung is asking customers to return.
According to a report coming Reuters, Samsung said:
“We recognize the concerns around the discontinuation of the Galaxy Note 7 and are currently reviewing possible options that can minimize the environmental impact of the recall in full compliance with relevant local environmental regulations.”
Samsung is doing itself a favor by issuing this statement. After all a lot of customers might be put off by a careless approach regarding the matter.
According to an article dating back to October from Motherboard, a Samsung spokesperson said that the company has a process in place in order to safely dispose of the phones. But how does one go about destroying around 2 million Galaxy Note7 smartphones without leaving an environmental footprint?
It’s a question that Samsung will eventually have to give an answer to. For the most part it is expected the phones won’t be recycled, although given the large phone quantities to be disposed of recycling seems like the smart thing to do.
It turns out that we’re really bad at recycling smartphones with most of the precious elements in phones like Galaxy Note7 ending up lost. And it’s these rare elements that are the most environmentally destructive and labor-intensive to mine. Hence Greenpeace’s concerns.
The Galaxy Note7 debacle is estimated to have cost the Korean tech giant a whopping $19 billion. Samsung is just starting to get back on its feet and a bunch of environmental accusations wouldn’t help its recovery.