OVERLAND PARK, KAN. (Jan. 11, 12 p.m. ET) — Sprint-Nextel Corp. announced that all of its new cell phones must go through a certification process to improve reparability or recycling, and that it plans to use more sustainable packaging.
The standard, developed by third-party UL Environment, will include materials used, energy management, impact to health and environment, packaging, product stewardship and sustainable innovation.
“We applaud Sprint for helping to lead the wireless phone industry down a path of increased environmental responsibility and sustainability,” said Stephen Wenc, president of UL Environment, in a statement.
Sprint said the new process will minimize the use of glues, inks, labels and plastics, along with the elimination of plastic laminate. New phones will use vegetable-based or low volatile organic compound (VOC) inks and water-based or other environmentally friendly adhesives.
Phone manufacturers will also be encouraged to increase their use of modular design for devices, which will ultimately improve both the reparability and recyclability of the device, Sprint said.
“We believe adopting third-party certification and elevating the sustainable criteria around our packaging and reparability enables us to continue to push the envelope on sustainable product design and to drive more eco-friendly product options to our customers,” said David Owens, vice president of product development for Sprint, in a statement.