Seoul, 5 July 2017 – Samsung announced on 3 July that it will start selling 400,000 refurbished Galaxy Note 7 devices in South Korea under the name of Galaxy Note FE. The announcement follows the company’s commitment in March to deal with the 4.3 million Galaxy Note 7 produced and recalled worldwide following battery faults and a global Greenpeace campaign.
“We welcome the news that Samsung is following up with its commitment to refurbish the Note 7, instead of wasting tonnes of precious resources,” said Jude Lee, Global Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia. “Samsung must communicate as soon as possible how the remaining phones will be recycled and what components will be reused, along with more detailed timelines on when it will implement all its promises.”
“Samsung needs to clarify how it will not repeat the mistakes it made with the Galaxy Note 7, maximise resource efficiency and ultimately make longer lasting products.”
“The latest Galaxy S8 still fails on repairability compared to other brands. With its edge to edge glass on the front and back, the phone is prone to breaking, and its battery is glued to the device, making it difficult to replace.”
“We know that the recall of 4.3 million Note 7 could have been avoided if the phone’s design allowed the battery to be more easily removed. We urge Samsung to design phones that are easier to repair, refurbish, and upgrade.”
In November Greenpeace launched a global petition which gathered thousands of signatures worldwide, asking Samsung not to dump the phones and instead transparently implement a sustainable recycling system. In February Greenpeace Spain activists crashed Samsung press conference at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, asking the company to reuse, recycle and rethink the way the phones are produced.
Greenpeace East Asia has been urging the tech sector to rethink its impact on the planet. Last month, Greenpeace and US-based iFixit conducted an assessment of over 40 best selling smartphones, tablets and laptops from seventeen top IT companies, including the Galaxy S8, to inform customers on the repairability of the devices.
 According to calculations by Oeko-Institut, a research and consultancy institution based in Germany, 4.3 million smartphones contain more than 20 metric tonnes of Cobalt, approximately more than 1 tonne of tungsten, 1 tonne of silver, 100 kilograms of gold and between 20 and 60 kilograms of palladium. More information on calculations and methodology by the Oeko-Institut available here.
 Greenpeace East Asia and iFixit’s assessment can be found at: http://www.rethink-it.org/en/