Company initiatives, Partnership, Press Release, Recycle, Video

Dell now uses ocean plastics in computer packaging

Dell announced the first shipment of ocean plastics packaging for its Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 resulting from its commercial-scale pilot program where the company collected and recycles plastics from waterways and beaches for use in packaging tray. In 2017, the pilot program collected 16,000 pounds of plastic from entering the ocean. (Wouldn’t it also be wonderful if these plastics were compostable in the waterways/beaches in the first place? – my  personal opinion)

Dell will transition its XPS 13 2-in-1 to ocean plastics packaging beginning April 30, 2017. The company also will include educational information on its packaging to raise global awareness and action on ocean ecosystem health solutions, an area of shared interest between Dell, its Social Good Advocate, Adrian Grenier and the Lonely Whale Foundation. To help ensure the packaging does not end up back in the oceans, Dell will stamp each tray with the No. 2 recycling symbol, designating it as HDPE (which is commonly recyclable in many locations). Dell’s Packaging team designs and sources its product packaging to be more than 93 percent recyclable by weight so that it can be reused as part of the circular economy.

The ocean plastics supply chain process is made of multiple stages: Dell’s partners intercept ocean plastics at the source in waterways, shorelines and beaches before it reaches the ocean. It then processes and refines the used plastics, mixes the ocean plastic (25%) with other recycled HDPE plastics (the remaining 75%) from sources like bottles and food storage containers. Finally, it molds the resulting recycled plastic flake into new packaging trays and ship the trays for final packaging and customer delivery.

Since 2008, Dell claimed to have included post-consumer recycled plastics in its desktops, and as of January 2017, reached its 2020 goal of using 50 million pounds of recycled materials in its products. Dell claimed to be the first and currently, only company it said, to offer computers and monitors that contain e-waste plastics and recycled carbon fiber.

According to Dell, a recent study reported between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste entered the ocean in 2010 alone. Dell has published a white paper on sourcing strategies and plans to convene a cross-industry working group that will address ocean plastics on a global scale.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.

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