Monday, 18 August 2008

Corn phones revive food vs. energy debate

Samsung has proudly reported that its new E200 phone is made of “bio-plastic,” which it claims is better for the environment because it's naturally extracted from corn rather than hydrocarbons. Apparently, each ton of bio-plastic saves two tons of CO2 emissions compared with oil-based plastic. So far, so green - but isn't corn a food crop? Hasn't Samsung heard the debate about the impact on world food supplies - and prices - caused by increased demand for bio-diesels and bio-plastics?

Samsung also boasts that this phone and its charger are also free from "harmful bromine-infused flame retardants" - but I thought these had been banned throught the EU a couple of years back under the RoHS directive anyway. Samsung is a huge global corporation and one of the World's top 10 brands - a fact which earns it instant credibility with the majority of consumers who don't have the time or inclination to examine green claims. I wonder how it will perform in next year's Greenpeace Green Electronics Guide?

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