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Earth Day 2024: LG East Africa Reaffirms Commitment to Fight Against Plastic Pollution


By Antynet Ford

LG Electronics has reaffirmed its commitment to environmental protection through actions and innovations that reduce the impact of plastics on the natural environment.

This dedication was affirmed during the 2024 Earth celebrations on Monday April 22, 2024.

LG’s commitment is in line with the Earth Day 2024 theme ‘Planet vs Plastic,’ which sought to highlight the urgent need to address the worsening problem of plastic pollution, against the global target of a 60% reduction in plastic pollution by 2040.

As a company with a comprehensive ESG vision for a ‘Better Life For All,’ LG is keen on developing product solutions, and lifecycle strategies that empower users to play a more active role in bringing about positive change.

This includes the education of consumers to saying “no” to single-use plastics and embracing appliances made using recycled plastics.

“At LG, we are keen on transforming the environments in which we operate. From an institutional level, we work exceptionally hard to keep the use of single-use plastics at a minimal, a message that we also communicate to our customers and members of the communities where we deploy various corporate social responsibility activities,” said LG’s Managing Director for East Africa, Dongwon Lee.

“Globally, we continue to support clean-up activities to collect electronic wastes from different environments and using recycled plastics in the development of many of our products.”

Below are some of the innovations and initiatives that LG has recently implemented to support the fight against plastic pollution:

LG’s Innovative Washer Helps Curb Microplastic Emission

Microplastics, minute plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in size, have permeated oceans, soil and even the air we breathe.

Their widespread distribution raises concerns for both the environment and human health.

The washing of synthetic textiles is a significant source of microplastics released to oceans globally, accounting for up to 35 percent.

This translates to around 200,000 to 500,000 tons of textile-related microplastics entering the marine environment every year.

In an attempt to help people contribute to the mitigation of plastic pollution, LG’s new washer comes with the Microplastic Care cycle preinstalled.

When set to this specialized cycle, the washer utilizes a ‘swinging’ motion and the TurboWash™ 360 feature to minimize fabric friction, providing gentle yet effective cleaning while reducing microplastic ‘shedding’ from garments by up to 60 percent.

Additionally, the latest LG front-loader comes with AI Wash, which leverages the company’s Deep Learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) Direct Drive™ Motor and 6 Motion™ technology.

Selecting the optimal washing motions based on fabric type, AI Wash provides improved fabric protection to help extend the lifespan of clothing.

The new washer also optimizes detergent usage with ezDispense™, which automatically dispenses the right amount of liquid detergent for each load.

LG’s Plastic-reducing Initiatives for a Better Life

With a staggering one million plastic bottles used every minute, and up to five trillion plastic bags used annually, plastic waste is polluting our world at an alarming rate.

Although they undoubtedly make daily life more convenient, home appliances are a substantial contributor to the problem of plastic waste.

Recognizing this, LG has greatly expanded its recycling programs for discarded appliances, fostering a sustainable cycle that shows a better way forward for industry and the world.

LG has implemented a resource circulation program that now spans 52 countries, with the LG Recycling Center in South Korea playing a central role. Raw materials such as iron, copper, aluminum and plastic are extracted from old home appliances, then sorted and processed before ultimately being ‘reborn’ as new lifestyle appliances, such as the LG Styler™ ShoeCase and ShoeCare, LG PuriCare™ AeroFurniture and LG tiiun mini.

Catering to the needs of diverse customer segments, these innovative lifestyle appliances from LG feature outer surfaces made from recycled plastics. Through making upcycling a part of its process, the company is both reinforcing sustainability throughout the entire product lifecycle and presenting eco-concerned customers with a compelling range of stylish and practical solutions that speak to their values, as well as their tastes.

LG’s ongoing commitment to addressing the importance of recycled materials was also on show at IFA 2023 in Berlin, Germany, last September.

The company’s exhibition booth hosted a number of activities to raise awareness of the importance of plastic recycling, including the planting of resin-pallet ‘trees’ at the LG Sustainable Village’s Upcycling Workshop Zone.

In 2022, LG recovered 472,876 tons of electronic waste from 52 countries, and has collected a cumulative total of 3,998,382 tons since 2007.

The company used 32,987 tons of recycled plastics in its products in 2022, a 24 percent increase from 2021.

LG’s worldwide resource circulation program, aligned with the goals of the company’s Better Life Plan 2030, aims to increase the waste-recycling rate at LG production sites to 95 percent by 2030.

Additionally, LG has set itself the target of using 600,000 tons of recycled plastics (cumulative) by 2030.

Furthermore, LG intends to reach another major milestone – the collection of 8 million tons (cumulative) of discarded appliances by 2030.

LG remains resolute in the pursuit of its Better Life For All vision. The company’s state-of-the-art appliances offer convenient ways for customers to contribute to environmental protection, while its sustainability-focused recycling programs and production practices show a belief in the possibility of a brighter tomorrow.

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