Samsung is dedicated to providing its users with products and services designed to make their every day more epic. A crucial part of this commitment is providing people with innovations that protect the planet and conserve our natural resources.
We act on three packaging design principles – reduce, replace, and recycle; these principles have guided the eco-conscious changes to packaging for the Galaxy S series. From the quantity of packaging to the materials used, Samsung has worked to streamline product packaging and implement more sustainable processes.1
From Galaxy S7 to Galaxy S21: Our Journey to More Eco-Conscious Packaging
Since the release of the Galaxy S7 in 2016, Samsung has developed more eco-conscious packaging with each generation of the Galaxy S series. Throughout this journey, we have worked diligently to remove elements that could stand in the way of people easily recycling their product packaging after purchase.
The packaging for the Galaxy S21 series contains just 4 percent2 of the plastic used in the Galaxy S7 packaging, reducing waste generated per packaging unit by 49 percent. Similarly, the Galaxy S21 packaging contains only 58 percent of the paper used in that of the Galaxy S7, helping save some 44,802 trees a year.3 As a result of these continued sustainability efforts, we decreased the amount of carbon generated during the development of the Galaxy S21 series’ packaging by 50 percent compared to that of the Galaxy S7.4
Following extensive research into eco-conscious materials, the Galaxy S8’s packaging saw several evolutions compared to previous Galaxy S series. We removed the magnet from inside the packaging along with the plastic in-box case for earphones, and the accessory tray – traditionally comprised of plastic – was made with paper-based material.
For the release of the Galaxy S9, we made an extra push towards reducing plastic waste. Samsung changed the device tray material from plastic to a pulp-mold material, integrating upcycled materials into our process.
For the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S20, Samsung expanded eco-conscious changes to packaging. We replaced plastic with paper to tie together accessories, the package structure was simplified, and all the packaging trays for in-box accessories were integrated into one pulp-mold tray to cut down on unnecessary materials. Furthermore, protective film was removed from accessories such as the charger plug and the USB connector, and the coating for all accessories was changed from a glossy finish to a more eco-conscious matte finish that hides fingerprints and is harder to scratch.
The packaging for our latest flagship device, the Galaxy S21 series, is the most eco-conscious product packaging within the Galaxy S series. Every box for the device is made with corrugated cardboard, instead of rigid paper, to improve recyclability. Accessories such as the charger plug and in-box earphones were removed to further minimize the amount of packaging and promote reuse and recycling habits among Galaxy users.
Promoting Resource Efficiency into the Future
Despite emerging challenges around the availability of sustainable materials and productivity of global supply chains as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Samsung still has a responsibility to help combat climate change and protect the environment in everything we do.
At the end of 2020, we achieved our goal of using 100 percent recycled or sustainably-sourced paper packaging5 and now require paper suppliers to submit certifications and conform to international standards, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. We recognize that our journey to shifting to a fully circular economy is not over.
Samsung continues to search for new and innovative eco-conscious materials for our product packaging, to discover new ways to minimize materials used, and to optimize our product development processes. In advance of future product releases, Samsung will continue to make changes that provide people with more eco-conscious product and packaging experiences as we work together with our supply chain and our customers to create a more sustainable world.
1 Some of the listed components or materials may differ by country or region.
2 This includes the screen's protective film. It may differ by country or region.
3 A 30-year-old tree can produce 59 kg of paper.
4 As evaluated and certified by the UK-based Carbon Trust.
5 For consumer electronics and IT & mobile communications products