The MWC 2017 is under way and has already witnessed the launch of some top-notch devices from Huawei, LG, and Samsung to name a few.

On Feb. 26, Samsung took the wraps off its Galaxy Tab S3 tablet, along with an updated Gear VR headset. The OEM also teased its upcoming flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S8.

However, amid all this excitement and a flurry of activity, Samsung was greeted by a surprise visitor. Who was this unexpected guest, you wonder? An environmental activist from Greenpeace!

What Transpired?

While David Lowes, the chief marketing officer of Samsung Europe, was delivering his opening statement, a Greenpeace protester holding a banner bearing a recycling logo stood on the stage's steps.

The logo featured a recycle symbol that had "Rethink, Reuse, Recycle" inscribed on it. In the middle of the triangle, it was written "it's simple," with a hashtag that pointed at the Galaxy Note 7.

To which Lowes responded with a tongue-in-cheek "you've made your point."

While this scene was unfolding inside the MWC, there was a similar situation outside the venue with the same banner put up.

Greenpeace vs Samsung

Greenpeace Spain has shared its disappointment with Samsung in a blog post. It revealed that it had earlier asked Samsung about the 4.3 million Galaxy Note 7 phablets' status and how the company was thinking of disposing those.

A rumor surfaced a week ago claiming that Samsung was going to refurbish the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 by using lower capacity batteries. However, this rumor was dismissed by Samsung.

In November 2016, Greenpeace started voicing its concern over the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, where it confronted the OEM to reuse and recycle the smartphone instead of discarding them.

"These phones contain rare and precious resources like gold, cobalt and tungsten that could be recovered instead of being easily thrown away," noted the organization at the time.

Per a new report shared by Greenpeace, the process by which the smartphones are being dumped and manufactured for the past decade is posing a serious threat to the planet.

According to the report, all the mobile manufacturers since 2007 are required to use around 968 TWh energy hourly, which is equivalent to India's annual electric supply. The report also reveals that mobile devices are expected to generate nearly 50 million tons of electronic waste by 2017.

From 2007, around 968 TWh of energy has been utilized in the manufacturing of smartphones.

By 2020, it is expected that smartphone ownership is expected to touch 6.1 billion devices, which is 70 percent of the global population. With such growth estimates, it is time that OEMs took steps toward becoming environment friendly.

Photo: Greenpeace Africa | Flickr

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