Another time, another time. In the early 90s, the big boss of Samsung had gathered 2,000 employees to set fire to 150,000 cell phones estimated to be of poor quality. It would obviously be unthinkable that in 2016, the brand would do the same with the 2.5 million Smartphone Galaxy Note 7 in circulation or being recovered.

“We have a process in place to get rid of the phones with no problem,” said Samsung to Motherboard , without giving further details. It will in any case be a logistical challenge scrutinized under the microscope. It starts now with the recovery of all  Smartphone Galaxy Note 7. As shown in an American video, the repatriation of the devices is done in a set of three fireproof nesting boxes , delivered with an antistatic pouch and a pair of glove for handle the phone.

Additional packaging, truck transport

On these boxes, it is notably specified that air transport is excluded. These models will therefore have to be transported by truck. Companies such as UPS or Fedex have already announced that they will only carry these devices under certain conditions, while players like Royal Mail have already indicated that they will not be responsible for transporting these packages potentially dangerous. However, transportation might not be the most insurmountable..

Problems are most likely to manifest themselves at the recycling point, which is therefore likely to be in the country where the equipment was recovered. This process will certainly be specific to each country, but impossible to know more. One thing seems certain, nothing will be collected to supply parts to an after-sales service.

Where will the French Smartphone Galaxy Note end up?

According to her, the operators – the main distributors and therefore responsible for recycling – do not really play the game: “they boast of being linked to the social economy and solidarity sector, but in fact, we have found that the ‘one does not do it any more, another has a partner who has declared bankruptcy and a third entrusts only 1% of the 200,000 devices that he recovers every year,’ noted the senator, without ever naming these operators by name .

What then becomes of the rare recovered smartphones? In France, the sector is very limited. In Deux-Sèvres, the Ateliers du Bocage are responsible for sorting smartphones and recycling them. The waste – as will be considered the Smartphone Galaxy Note 7 – is then sent for example to Belgium where the company Umicore is responsible for recovering the precious and rare metals used in electronic cards.

But more often than not, French phones intended to be destroyed are sold to traders who label them as re-use material and export them to Romania or the Philippines. There, they are usually dismantled in a much less environmentally friendly manner and the workers responsible for doing so. Contacted by BFMTV, Samsung Smartphone Galaxy has not yet been able to specify whether a specific procedure will be put in place in France to ensure the recovery of this waste at 850 euros each.