Blog Post

Samsung Adds More Corn Phones, This Time At Olympics

Samsung isn’t just working on software to make mobile phones more energy efficient, it’s got a line of cell phones made of bioplastic, too — yup, cell phones with parts made of corn. Today at the Olympics in Beijing, Samsung announced its third bioplastic-encased cellphone, a 9.9 mm slim bar, the E200 Eco.

Samsung claims that a ton of bioplastic used in the E200 is able to reduce 2.16 tons of CO2 compared with the conventional petroleum-based material. Cheil Industries, an affiliate of the Samsung Group, is the company behind Samsung’s bioplastic production. While we applaud Samsung’s moves into bioplastics, we’d like to see some more sustainable, non-corn synthetic plastics used.

A spokesperson for Samsung told us recently that the company is testing materials derived from plants other than corn to produce its bioplastics, and it’s also working on “eco-friendly materials” other than plastic alternatives (though, we’re not sure what that means). And yes it will likely take some time. It seems like bioplastics are, first and foremost, a marketing means for Samsung, as the company tells us that “developing and applying new material[s] to our products adds to the cost of making the phone.”

Still, this is the company’s third bioplastic phone, so the Korean giant must be satisfied with some part of the equation. At the World IT Show in Seoul this June, Samsung said it would start selling two eco-friendly handsets: the W510, which is made out of a corn-based bioplastic and doesn’t contain any heavy metals, such as lead, mercury and cadmium; and the F268, which doesn’t contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Samsung is trying to stop using PVC and BFRs in all of its cell phones by 2010.