Samsung is asking everyone to return their now defunct Galaxy Note 7 phones, but what is Samsung planning on doing with the massive number of phones they’re about to get back? They manufactured over 2 million devices, which have to go somewhere. Unfortunately, the company isn’t planning on repairing or refurbishing any of the phones.
From a safety standpoint, that makes sense. It’s better to not risk another phone blowing up on someone down the line, and it’s cheaper than continuing to investigate the issues that are causing the phones to explode. However, it does pose an environmental problem; the materials used to make smartphones obviously aren’t biodegradable, and it’s a huge waste to just throw away 2 million mostly good phones.
So while Samsung currently just plans on scrapping everything, there’s some pressure from environmental groups to be more transparent in their disposal process. No one expects them to completely recycle 100% of the phones, but it’d be nice to see something happen that wasn’t just a complete waste of rare resources.
This doesn’t take into account that Samsung is also in charge of handling the supply chain in reverse by asking customers to send the devices back to Samsung. So not only have they spent money and resources on creating the devices and shipping them out, but they’re going to spend money and resources again in doing that backward.
Start to finish, this situation really isn’t good for anyone involved. It’s not going to get better, but we should at least try to avoid making it any worse than it has to be.
via: The Verge