SK hynix Sets Ambitious Goals for Recycled Materials UseSeoul High Court Acknowledges State Responsibility in Humidifier Sanitizer Case

SEOUL, South Korea - SK hynix Inc., recognized as the world's second-largest memory chip manufacturer, has announced a comprehensive plan to significantly increase its use of recycled materials in production. The company has committed to incorporating 25 percent recycled materials by 2025, aiming to surpass 30 percent by 2030.

According to Yonhap News Agency, In a statement released on Tuesday, SK hynix outlined its initial strategies to achieve these targets. These include replacing essential metals like copper, tin, and gold with recycled counterparts in semiconductor manufacturing. Furthermore, the firm intends to switch from traditional plastic packaging to recycled plastic options for its finished products. To ensure the success of these initiatives, SK hynix will enhance the certification processes and quality assessments for recycled materials, both procured directly and through its business partners.

The move aligns with SK hynix's broader environmental goals, emphasizing the importance of establishing a circular economy to achieve carbon neutrality. The company's proactive stance on increasing the utilization of recycled materials is part of a global shift towards sustainable practices. This announcement comes on the heels of SK Group's pledge last year to reduce carbon emissions by 200 million tons by 2030, aligning with the International Energy Agency's global carbon reduction objectives.

SEOUL — In a landmark ruling on Tuesday, the Seoul High Court recognized for the first time the South Korean government's liability for damages to victims of toxic humidifier disinfectant products. This decision overturns a previous lower court ruling that had absolved the state of responsibility, marking a significant victory for the victims and their families.

According to Yonhap News Agency, five victims who suffered lung damage between 2008 and 2011 due to the use of humidifier sanitizers, along with other plaintiffs, successfully challenged the state's lack of accountability. The court has ordered compensation ranging from 3 million won (US$2,260) to 5 million won for three of the plaintiffs, finding negligence in the public officials' duty to scrutinize and disclose the chemical substances' toxicity.

The litigation commenced in 2014 after a group of affected individuals, who had been hospitalized with unexplained lung injuries from the sanitizers, and their relatives sued both the manufacturers and the state. While a district court in 2016 recognized the manufacturers' obligation to compensate, it rejected the claims against the state for insufficient evidence. However, five of the ten plaintiffs appealed this decision, leading to the recent appellate court's judgment in their favor.

The Ministry of Environment, representing the state in this lawsuit, stated it would review the high court's decision and consult with relevant agencies before determining whether to appeal to the Supreme Court. The controversy surrounding humidifier disinfectants has emerged as one of the country's most grievous consumer safety crises, with reports of illnesses and fatalities linked to the products surfacing in 2011 and a governmental investigation establishing the connection in 2012.

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