In today's fierce and competitive market, how can a company sell more cell phones? One response: manufacture "green" phones. At the Seoul World IT show, Samsung (the Korean consumer electronics multinational corporation) offered plans to begin development and sale of two environmentaly-friendly handsets. The first is the W510. The W510 is constructed from a corn-based bioplastic and is free from hazardous heavy metals such as lead, the heavy metals mercury, currently a concern in the consumption of any fish products, and cadmium, a potentially toxic element that internal combustion engines spew.
This is the first bioplastic-based phone from Samsung. On the other hand At the CES in January, Samsumg was not the first or only big-time manufacturer of consumer electronics who utilizes the unconventional material Fujitsu presented a laptop featuring a bioplastic case. Furthermore, the 3310 Evolve model, newly introduced by the mobile phone giant Nokia, a mobile phone partly made from biomaterials.
Getting rid of petroleum-based plastics is an excellent proposition, however, it is currently known that plastics are not sustainable, but corn can be a replacement for fuel. We hope that Samsung's newer models will be converted to a more sustainable, futuristic bioplastic, although we understand, the thought process behind testing out the market for bioplastic with cheap and readily available corn before any decisions are made. Samsung has come out with a new phone. Assuring the public that the mobile doesn't contain the nasty petrochemical PVC, the F268 (Polyvinyl chloride) or Brominated Flame Retardant, a flame retardant containing bromine (Flame retardants consisting of organic compounds containing bromine). This phone is a positive step in the company's plan to stop using PVC and BFRs in all of its cell phones by the year 2010.
Greenpeace has actually given Samsung high marks as an environmentally-friendly consumer electronics manufacturer. This is based on the recent "Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics", which says that the company has received a rankng of 7 out of 10 since March. ranking it near the top.
Consistently, It also received praise for its planned schedule for phasing out use of PVC and BFR. On the other hand while, in November, Samsung debuted the company's PVC-free LCD panels, The Greenpeace ranking system deducted points becaues it did not implement a complete redemption and recycling program.
Maria is a freelance journalist with an interest in recycling and schemes where you can recycle your old mobile phones for cash.