Wireless Watch: Corn-based cell phone helps Sprint go green

Struggling Sprint Nextel (S) is trying to boost its tarnished name with a new, environmentally friendly phone: the Samsung Reclaim. The phone, which is constructed from eco-friendly plastics, will become available on August 16.

The Reclaim is an environmentalist's dream. According to Fierce Mobile Content, it is free of polyvinyl chloride phthalates and contains no flame retardants. Most if it is made from corn-based bio-plastics; once you decide to ditch it, 80 percent of its parts are recyclable. That is critical since, according to a report by CNet, the Natural Resources Defense Council says that more than 100 million cell phones are tossed every year in the United States, potentially leaking mercury, cadmium, arsenic and other substances into water streams.

Even the packaging and phone tray are made from 70 percent recycled materials and the box's images, text and warranty information are all printed with soy-based ink. No paper manual either – you have to go online to read it.