Samsung made a solar-charging Eco Remote for its latest TVs

With its 2021 lineup of 4K and 8K QLED TVs, Samsung is introducing a new Eco Remote Control that the company claims will “reduce tons of plastic waste per year” and further its efforts to reduce its environmental impact.

From the front, the Eco Remote Control looks like any of Samsung’s TV clickers from recent years. But flip it around and you’ll see a long panel of solar cells that can charge the internal battery. The remote is made from 31 grams of plastic, and Samsung says 28 percent of that comes “from recycled polyethylene terephthalate.”

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Samsung estimates you’ll be able to use the Eco Remote Control for two years before its battery gives out. That’s a fairly limited life span for something that accompanies a product you’re likely to use for anywhere between five and 10 years. But the reduction in plastic waste is notable, and I guess this beats not including a remote control at all in the way phone makers are ditching chargers and headphones.

There’s a USB-C port on the bottom if you need to charge the remote faster for whatever reason.

Image: Samsung

Samsung is also continuing its eco packaging efforts in 2021. “By eliminating oil-based ink and expanding eco-friendly packaging to all Lifestyle and QLED TV models, Samsung offers a sustainable solution that can upcycle up to 200,000 tons of boxes a year and turn them into pieces of home decor.” After your TV is unpacked, you can scan a QR code on its box for instructions on how to craft it into something you might want to keep around. Samsung partnered with Dezeen for a competition that encouraged people to come up with clever ways of repurposing the cardboard boxes.

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