Samsung tried to keep consumers hooked with its super-fast 5g wireless gear and tablets on Sunday, but Greenpeace was determined to point out a black mark from the South Korean electronics giant’s recent past.
As Fortune previously reported, a Greenpeace protester took the stage with a banner that called for better recycling during Samsung’s Mobile World Congress presentation in Barcelona. The recycling refers to the 4.3 million Galaxy Note 7s the company recalled in 2016 after reports that the phone was catching fire. Samsung has yet to indicate clearly what it will do with these phones, though Greenpeace is wary the electronics maker might just toss them.
Scenes from the 2017 Mobile World Congress
“What has happened with Samsung’s recall of the Galaxy Note 7 is indicative of a wasteful and unsustainable system. Rushed design and production cycles can lead to wasteful mistakes, not to mention the impact on our planet,” said Jude Lee, global senior campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, in a written statement Friday. “Samsung still hasn’t shared a clear plan to deal with the 4.3 million phones that it recalled. If Samsung is serious about making sure this never happens again, it must lead the IT sector and move towards a system that allows phones to be more easily repaired, reused and recycled.”
Outside the venue, Greenpeace tried to unfurl a larger banner with the same design, though a Samsung representative prevented the sign from being completely unfolded, according to CNBC.
“You’ve made your point,” Samsung Electronics Europe’s Chief Marketing Officer David Lowes, who was making his opening remarks on stage at the time, said in response, according to a CNET editor’s tweet at the event.
On its part, Samsung told CNBC that it does have the environment in mind when it comes to recalled products.
“We are committed to working closely with regulatory bodies, as well as carrier partners, to ensure a responsible disposal plan for our devices,” a Samsung representative told CNBC in a statement.