Dell first to use recycled ocean plastics packaging in tech industry

Pilot programme delivers technology industry’s first packaging trays with 25% recycled ocean plastic content 

Dell announced it is the first in the technology industry to ship ocean plastics packaging, the result of an innovative, commercial-scale pilot programme. Dell recycled plastics collected from waterways and beaches for use in the new packaging tray for its Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, building on its broader sustainable supply chain strategy, said Dell in its press statement. In 2017, its ocean plastics pilot will keep 16,000 pounds of plastic from entering the ocean.

Plastic-pacagingDell will transition its award-winning XPS 13 2-in-1 to ocean plastics packaging beginning April 30, 2017. The company said it will also 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, the company said it will stamp each tray with the No. 2 recycling symbol, designating it as HDPE (which is commonly recyclable in many locations). The company’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, said Dell.

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 percent) with other recycled HDPE plastics (the remaining 75 percent) from sources like bottles and food storage containers. Finally, it moulds the resulting recycled plastic flake into new packaging trays and ships the trays for final packaging and customer delivery.

Dell’s pilot programme, another environmental industry-first, follows a successful feasibility study launched March 2016 in Haiti, the company stated. Since 2008, it has included post-consumer recycled plastics in its desktops, said Dell, and as of January 2017, reached its 2020 goal of using 50 million pounds of recycled materials in its products.

“I have been in supply chain and operations for twenty years, and this is the first time my 10-year-old daughter has gotten excited about what I do,” said Kevin Brown, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Dell. “This new packaging initiative demonstrates that there are real global business applications for ocean plastics that deliver positive results for our business and planet. We look forward to working across industries for broader impact,” said Kevin Brown, Chief Supply Chain Officer.

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