The electronics company says it diverted 16 tons of plastic away from oceans this year © Pablo Hidalgo/123RF
The electronics company says it diverted 16 tons of plastic away from oceans this year © Pablo Hidalgo/123RF

Dell using ocean plastic as packaging

4 July 2017

Dell has begun shipping one of its flagship laptops in plastic recovered from beaches to help clean up oceans.

The company said in its 2017 update to its “2020 Legacy of Good” report that it had started shipping the XPS 13 2-in-1 in packaging made from ocean-bound plastics.

It also pledged to increase annual usage of these plastics by 10 times by 2025 and to share Dell’s processes for making the packaging throughout the supply chain to encourage other companies to follow suit.

Dell chairman and CEO Michael Dell said: “We used plastic waste from beaches to make protective trays for laptops. We’ll divert about 16,000 pounds of plastic from our oceans this year alone, and have plans to expand and scale the initiative in the months ahead.”

Additionally Dell has recovered 1.8bn pounds of electronics, which puts it 88% of the way toward its 2020 goal to recycle 2bn pounds of used electronics by 2020.

Dell’s packaging tray is made from a blend of recycled ocean plastics and recycled, high density polyethylene plastics.

Ocean-bound plastics are recovered from beaches, rivers, coastlines and other areas where they may find their way into seas.

“Collecting from such areas is key to preventing pollution, as approximately 80% of ocean plastics start their journey on land before being swept to sea by other waterways and wind,” said Dell.

“Using ocean plastics is one example of Dell’s ongoing transition to circular economy solutions, where waste materials are used as inputs and kept in the economy rather than buried or destroyed.”

The company said it was looking at ways to incorporate more of this material into products and other packaging solutions.

However, it said there was a lack of commercial scale infrastructure to collect and recycle plastics before they reach the oceans.

Dell has also developed bamboo packaging, which is used to cushion lightweight products, and packaging foam made of mushrooms.

The company held 55 cleanup events around the world on beaches, shorelines, waterways and other coastal areas for Earth Day.

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