Samsung is a technology industry leader and it is stepping up to help end the practice of single-use plastics. Single-use plastics are the leading cause of plastic pollution in the ocean and if left unchecked, there will be more plastics than fish in the ocean by 2050.
Many environmentalists will say more plastic recycling is the answer, but in reality, recycling centers cannot keep up. Instead, the key to beating plastic pollution is to cut out as much plastic waste as we can.
What is Samsung Doing
If you have ever bought an electronic device from Samsung or any other tech giant, you will have noticed a very large amount of plastic waste when you opened the package. Samsung is aiming to replace all of these single-use plastics with paper or bioplastic materials.
For example, I recently bought a new 4K TV and lo and behold, almost everything was covered in a thin line of plastic, including all 55 inches of my television. This can be easily replaced by more environmentally friendly materials if the effort is put in.
How Big of An Impact Will This Have
Just last year, Samsung sold nearly 300 million smartphones and millions of other devices including TVs, refrigerators, and much more. Cutting out the single-use plastics will have a significant impact on plastic pollution.
Samsung is joining other major companies that are reexamining single-use plastics in their products. As Samsung is an industry leader, most likely other tech companies will follow suit or they will face significant consumer backlash.
Recycling Can Only Do So Much
One of the biggest misconceptions is that if we recycle more, there will be less plastic pollution. Unfortunately, this isn’t true, due to a lack of recycling centers. Most of the plastics that are recycled cannot be handled by the recycling centers. The demand is simply too high and a lot of the plastics that are put in recycling bins are buried in landfills.
For recycling to become a real answer, hundreds of new recycling centers will be needed, but even if they are built, people will need to sort their plastics. Both of these are equally challenging and the likelihood of recycling success is far off. However, even a little recycling is better than no recycling.
Plastics and the Oceans
The biggest problem with plastic pollution is that excess plastics find their way into the ocean rather easily. In fact, so much plastic and other materials have found their way into the ocean, they have formed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This patch is three times the size of France, and it’s bigger than most countries.
There are an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic in this garbage heap and if left unchecked, our oceans will become one giant plastic sea. This endangers every sea creature from fish to whales and in turn, threatens the world’s seafood industry.
Plastics do not degrade naturally. They tend to break up and continue to shrink and shrink until they become microplastics. These end up getting consumed by fish and other sea creatures and fill their stomachs. This makes the creatures think they are full, but in reality, they begin starving to death.
The fish that do not die are consumed by others until they reach the top of the food chain, humans. It is unknown how this will affect humans, but it cannot be good.
Samsung is Proof That Industry Can Change
Samsung is a prime example of a company that is starting to tackle environmental concerns. While it does not fully detail plans or lay down a timeframe, the news that they are aware of the problem and are beginning to make the necessary changes is truly great.
If an industry titan like Samsung can change product packaging to be more eco-friendly, others may feel obliged to do the same.