Like most people, you’re probably way more interested in enjoying and exploring the features of a new device or gadget than you are about the packaging it came in. Even if you don’t notice, though, the sort of materials used to make those packages can actually make a big difference. When manufacturers take the environment into consideration, they often choose materials and design that will make the smallest ecological impact. By taking deliberate, innovative approaches to their packaging, many companies can reduce the use of resources, cut emissions and reduce waste. Let’s take a look at some of the companies who are dedicated to making more sustainable packages and find out why it matters.
By adopting a holistic life cycle approach to their packaging choices, Dell has become a leader in the innovation and commercialization of unconventional, renewable sources of fiber. That effort has led the company to introduce mushrooms as a cushioning material, to pioneer the use of wheat, and to advance the use of recycled molded paper pulp for the manufacture of packaging materials. These innovations all take organic-based waste material and convert it to packaging applications that can then be either recycled or composted, in the case of mushroom packaging. Currently, more than 90 percent of Dell notebook shipments are packaged completely in sustainably sourced materials.
Best Buy joined the ‘I Want To Be Recycled’ campaign, an initiative by Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council to remind consumers to recycle shipping and product packaging. As part of the initiative, orders shipped from BestBuy.com will include a customized packaging design that encourages consumers to recycle their boxes, and to learn more about the importance of package recycling at IWantToBeRecycled. Reducing waste is central to Best Buy's sustainability commitment, with an emphasis on making improvements in its own operations while helping consumers easily live more sustainably too.
Sony introduced packaging made with post-consumer recycled PET bottles materials for PlayStation® products. In 2014, more than 1,200 metric tons of Post-consumer PET was used by Sony that might otherwise have gone to landfills. Sony is also creating more efficient manuals through the use of pictures instead of words for certain Walkman® and headphone models. By eliminating the need to prepare instructions in several languages, pictorial guides have reduced paper consumption for these products in 2015 by roughly 23.8 percent from the previous year – nearly 16.7 tons. Efficient documentation also enables smaller, lighter packaging, which helps curb CO2 emissions in distribution.
The ReLeaf™ is an HDTV antenna by Mohu that is made from a combination of 30 percent Post-Consumer Recycled Cardboard, and 100 percent recycled cable boxes. The ReLeaf is packaged in 100 percent Post-consumer recycled cardboard. Mohu has also eliminated additional packaging waste by printing the instructions on the box itself.
Want to learn more about how tech companies are making environmentally responsible choices? You can find more stories and great tips on leading a cleaner, greener life at CTA.tech/Green.