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Galaxy S22’s plastic might come from discarded ocean fishing nets

Published Feb 7th, 2022 7:31AM EST
Leak shows purported Galaxy S22 Ultra press render
Image: Twitter

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Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S22 later this week. It’s the phone series that will bring back the Note form factor but in Galaxy S clothing. Additionally, Samsung will also launch the Galaxy Tab S8 flagship tablet during the upcoming Unpacked event. But there’s no question that the Galaxy S22 is the most anticipated gadget at the show. Samsung decided to make a Galaxy S22-related announcement on Monday, revealing that upcoming Galaxy devices will feature plastic from discarded fishing nets from the ocean.

Will the Galaxy S22 feature a plastic back?

The press release doesn’t explicitly name the Galaxy S22 or the Galaxy Tab S8. But the announcement isn’t accidental. Samsung does say that it will use the new plastic material throughout its entire lineup. It all starts with the new Galaxy devices that it will unveil on February 9th at Unpacked. That’s the Galaxy S22 series and the new tablet.

Samsung says in the press release that it developed a new material. It’s supposed to give “ocean-bound plastics new life as they’re incorporated into various Galaxy devices.”

“This new technological advancement marks a notable achievement in the company’s journey to deliver tangible environmental actions and protect the planet for generations to come,” Samsung explains.

It’s unclear, however, what sort of plastic components the Galaxy S22 will feature. Samsung has returned to making flagship handsets out of plastic a few years ago. The decision impacted the cheapest Galaxy S21 model, which features a plastic back panel. But reports this year said that Samsung will use glass for all three Galaxy S22 phones.

Fishing nets on a beach
Fishing nets on a beach. Image source: Samsung

Recycling the fishing nets

Galaxy S22 plastic aside, Samsung explains in the press release that its environment initiative concerns the 640,000 tons of fishing nets abandoned and discarded every year:

Lingering in our oceans for centuries, these ‘ghost nets’ are responsible for trapping and entangling marine life, damaging coral reefs and natural habitats and even ending up in our food and water sources. These discarded fishing nets are disrupting the delicate balance of our environment at an alarming rate. Collecting and repurposing these nets are vital first steps in keeping our oceans clean as well as preserving the planet and our collective future.

In other words, Samsung’s initiative might allow the company to recover a significant quantity of plastic from the ocean. That’s a notable project, one that goes beyond the Galaxy S22 series. Samsung will explain at Unpacked in greater detail the process of recycling fishing nets from oceans. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of quantities of plastic Samsung expects to manufacture from the recycled nets.

To get back to Samsung’s Galaxy plans for the year, the Galaxy S22 isn’t the only hotly anticipated new handset from the Korean giant. Samsung will unveil the Galaxy A53 mid-range smartphone soon, a handset that will attract millions of buyers this year. And that’s a handset that features a plastic back rather than glass.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.