Samsung received the inaugural eCycling Leadership Award from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) for leading recycling efforts in the electronics industry. The award acknowledges the amount of e-waste Samsung collected in 2012 and the company’s leadership in working with communities, such as Salt Lake City, Dallas and Boston, to solve complex e-waste issues.
Samsung collected and responsibly recycled more than 92.5 million pounds of e-waste in 2012 and more than 300 million pounds of e-waste since its Samsung Recycling Direct program began in 2008.
Best Buy, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard also received eCycling Leadership Awards. The CEA says that during 2012, HP grew its electronics recycling from about 300 collection sites to roughly 3,700 nationwide by working with FedEx Office and Staples. Best Buy maintained more than 1,300 collection points for e-waste collection activities at all of its retail locations throughout the US and Puerto Rico. Through various marketing means, Best Buy drove awareness around its collection and recycling program and increased collections by 20 percent to nearly 100 million pounds last year. Dell partnered with Goodwill Industries to offer Dell Reconnect, a free and convenient residential recycling program. Since its inception in 2004, the Dell Reconnect program has responsibly recycled more than 253 million pounds of electronic equipment at more than 2,000 Goodwill donation sites across the US.
CEA’s eCycling Leadership Initiative aims to promote awareness of electronics recycling opportunities nationwide while increasing the amount of electronics responsibly recycled.
Samsung was the first electronics manufacturer to become an E-Stewards Enterprise. E-Stewards only work with recycling vendors that meet strict social and environmental requirements. E-Stewards certified recyclers do not incinerate, send waste to landfills, or export toxic waste to developing countries, according to the E-Stewards restrictions on processing materials of concern.
“We want to make recycling electronics as easy as purchasing electronics. And through the efforts of leaders like Samsung, and CEA’s efforts to promote eCycling directly to consumers via our GreenerGadgets.org resource, we have made great progress toward that goal,” says Walter Alcorn, CEA’s vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability.
A recent report from the CEA showed that consumer electronics companies are increasingly becoming environmentally friendly. Sony, for example, developed SoRPlas, a proprietary recycled plastic. Plastic scrap from leftover optical discs, transparent sheets and used water bottles is crushed, washed and converted to SoRPlas, according to CEA 2013 Sustainability Report. Traditional recycled plastics contain about 30 percent recycled material. In SoRPlas the recycled content can be as high as 99 percent — and the 1 percent remainder includes Sony’s original flame retardant that provides superior flame resistance while eliminating the need for brominated flame retardants. This breakthrough material can be found today in Sony’s digital still cameras and other Sony products, the report says.