Smartphone industry gets greener as Sprint adopts AirCarbon

14/05/2014

Smartphone Industry Gets Greener As Sprint Adopts AirCarbon

The smartphone industry is becoming greener, as handset and accessory developers find new ways to be more environmentally friendly.

While people have been recycling their phones for some time, they are only now able to purchase accessories made out of recycled parts.

Sprint has announced that it will become one of the first companies to use AirCarbon - a new material created from greenhouse gas used to produce plastic products.

The telecommunications company will use the material to manufacture black and pink phone cases for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s.

These will be sold exclusively at Sprint.com from later this month onwards. The cases retail at $29.99 (£17.80), plus tax.

By releasing the cases, Sprint has become the first telecommunications company in the world to launch a carbon-negative product using AirCarbon.

This material is manufactured by California-based Newlight Technologies and has been praised for its versatility.

David Owens, Sprint's senior vice president of product, said: "We are pleased to introduce this new technology – essentially turning greenhouse gas into a plastic that has the potential to replace petroleum-based plastics.

"This innovation is another example of Sprint’s leadership in providing eco-friendly products to our customers."

AirCarbon is the result of a proprietary carbon capture process, which converts air and greenhouse gases into plastic.

The finished product has a similar durability and overall quality as petroleum-based plastics but has the added bonus of being more environmentally friendly.

By synthesising high-performance thermoplastics from sources such water treatment plants, landfills, anaerobic digesters, or energy facilities, the material helps to lower carbon footprints.

Mark Herrema, Newlight Technologies co-founder and chief executive officer, said that AirCarbon "offers a new paradigm in which products we use every day, like cellphone cases, become part of the environmental solution".

He added that he is thankful for businesses like Sprint which are willing to innovate and lead the charge towards more environmentally friendly products.