Samsung has today announced that it has listened to campaigns and protests urging it to recycle all 4.3 million ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 devices produced and recalled worldwide.
Environmental organisation Greenpeace says there has been five months of campaigning, hoping technology giant Samsung would listen to demands and dispose of the smartphones using environmentally friendly techniques.
Samsung has also posted on its website three key practices it will follow for all upcoming smartphones and electronics. The company is committed to:
- Refurbishing and selling any recalled smartphones or use them as rental phones
- Detach salvageable components, such as semiconductors or camera modules, for reuse or sale
- Extract metals using environmentally friendly methods
Samsung has also laid out plans to commit to helping the European Union research and develop a new environmentally friendly technology to recycle smartphones.
Jude Lee, Global Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia said while Greenpeace appreciates Samsung's promises and commitments, it now needs to produce a timeline to show when they will be put into effect.
Production of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was halted in October, just three months after it went on sale because of issues with the battery that caused many devices to overheat, catch fire and explode.
Korean news outlet Hankyung had previously reported that Samsung would sell refurbished models of the Note 7, albeit without the affected batteries inside, in emerging markets such as India and Vietnam. They wouldn't be able to be resold in the US or Europe because a full ban had been imposed.
Some Galaxy Note 7 owners, especially in Korea, were reported to have not sent their handset back to Samsung during its recall. With safety a concern above all else, Samsung issued an over the air software update that would prevent the Note 7 from recharging, so when the battery level went down to zero, the phone would effectively become a brick.