Sprint announced this week that it will require all new phones to go through third-party testing to improve repairability, recyclability and energy efficiency.
The testing criteria, developed by product certification firm UL Environment, includes materials used, impact on health and environment, energy management, sustainable innovation, performance and product stewardship.
To meet the criteria, Sprint is encouraging phone manufacturers to increase their use of modular design, which will improve both the repairability and recyclability of devices, the company said.
Through the 2012 standard, which includes packaging as well as product design criteria, Sprint will also introduce a line of sustainable packing materials for its phones. To up the green factor of its packaging, the company plans to eliminate plastic laminate, print with vegetable-based or low-VOC (violate organic compound) inks and use water-based or eco-friendly adhesives.
New packaging standards are expected to encourage the reduction of packaging volume and size; increase the use of recycled fiber and post-consumer waste; and minimize the use of glues, inks, labels and plastics, the company said.