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Samsung will replace plastic packaging with eco-friendly materials

It's embracing bioplastics and paper.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Samsung is once more improving its environmental footprint in response to pressure. The company has outlined plans to begin replacing plastic packaging with more sustainable materials. From the first half of 2019 onward, it'll ditch regular plastic in boxes for phones, appliances and other products with bioplastics, recycled plastics and paper. It's even changing product designs to reduce its waste -- phone chargers will have a matte finish that doesn't require a plastic protection film to remain pristine during shipping.

When Samsung does use paper, it'll rely on sustainable variants certified by environmental organizations. It expects to finish transitioning to that material by 2020.

The initiative isn't exactly a selfless gesture. Samsung has faced criticism for years from environmental groups for its lack of definitive environmental plans, and that outcry has even spilled over into its events -- a Greenpeace protester stormed the company's 2017 Mobile World Congress presentation. This helps its public image as much as anything.

Still, it's a significant move. Samsung is easily one of the largest electronics companies, and a shift to greener packaging could eliminate massive amounts of waste. It might also set an example for other tech giants who still use an abundance of fresh plastic, convincing them to make the switch lest they look bad. Whatever happens, there's a good chance your Galaxy S10 or 8K TV will be that much kinder to the planet.

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