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Nordic Semiconductor launches new component reels made from recycled plastics


Working with its assembly and test partners, Nordic now using recycled plastic component packaging reels.

Nordic Semiconductor has achieved another important step in its sustainability strategy, by becoming one of the first semiconductor companies to use component reels made from recycled plastic.

The switch to recycled plastic will reduce plastic waste by almost 15,000 kilograms per year.

"We’re continuously looking for ways to minimize our environmental impact,” said Ole-Fredrik Morken, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain, Nordic Semiconductor, “So, we are delighted that we, together with our trusted OSAT partners, have been able to achieve this milestone. This is especially important given that Nordic's customers are some of the world's largest 'consumers' of wireless IoT connectivity semiconductor chips, deploying hundreds of millions of devices each year with Nordic components inside.”

As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, so will the volumes of these chips consumed in applications such as smart home, healthcare, asset tracking, professional lighting, building automation, smart agriculture, utility metering, wireless audio, and retail.

"It's a small but significant contribution to sustainability," says Geir Langeland, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Nordic Semiconductor. "When you consider the market potential for the IoT applications that Nordic is at the forefront of, such as AI and machine learning, it's foreseeable that Nordic could soon be supplying billions of devices annually.”

The majority of Nordic's component packaging reels now use reground old plastics. To meet this milestone, Nordic was required to test its recycled plastic component reels and ensure they performed as reliably as traditional non-recycled equivalents, meeting all relevant component tape-and-reel industry standards. This means the packaging didn’t break during shipping, protected Nordic's valuable semiconductor parts, and didn’t jam when fed into high-speed PCB placement machines.

"Our customers have put our recycled plastic component reels into their production processes without issue," concluded Morken. "Regarding ESG [Environmental, Social, and Governance], we make an effort to walk our green talk. There are many industry-standard, minimum good-practice regulations for what a semiconductor chip supplier should do to minimize its environmental impact. However, climate change and the environment are too important to work to minimum standards. You try to go beyond that and do your part for the environment. And that is what we’ve done here."

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