Dell launched an ocean plastics pilot program under which the company will start processing plastics collected from the beaches, waterways and coastal areas and use them as part of new packaging system for its products.
The initial goal of the program is to include 25% of recycled ocean plastic content in Dell's product packaging. It will help to keep 16,000 pounds of plastics from entering the ocean.
Here is how Dell describes this process on its website:
“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 molds the resulting recycled plastic flake into new packaging trays, which are curbside recyclable in many places, helping ensure they remain a viable resource in the economy.”
Dell’s award-winning XPS 13 2-In-1 laptop is the first company’s product that will be delivered in packaging made from ocean plastics to customers worldwide.
As Dell describes further, “The trays will ship globally and the effort will keep 16,000 pounds of plastics out of oceans, with production scaling next year to 20,000.”
Each packaging tray will be stamped with the №2 recycling symbol, designating it as HDPE, i.e. commonly recyclable in many locations.
Kevin Brown, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Dell, said, “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. 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.”
Dell is among the first companies to offer computers and monitors that include recycled and e-waste plastics. Dell started using waste as a material input for its products more than 10 years ago.
“Using recycled-content materials from our take-back operations, purchased from others’ recycling efforts, or collected from other materials streams usually considered waste all help us break free of the linear march of materials to landfills when they reach the end of their lives that has characterized the global economy for too long. Ocean plastics are the perfect example of how a resource can go from linear to circular.”
In January 2017, the company declared that it reached its 2020 goal of using 50 million pounds of recycled materials in its products.
Now, Dell team says that the company’s priority is to switch to a circular economy approach.
In addition to using recycled materials in its products and packaging, Dell will also utilize its partnership with the Lonely Whale Foundation to explore and create scalable supply chain solutions to address ocean-bound plastic pollution, identify and address barriers, and share best practices around business applications for ocean plastics.
Social Good Advocate of Dell Adrian Grenier said, “I am so proud to see the goal of my partnership with Dell fully realized in this program. Not only are we keeping plastics from entering our ocean, but we are also educating consumers and leading by example through developing new and innovative business systems. The health of our ocean affects the health of our families and our communities. This is one example of our collective ability to protect it.”
by Natalie Myhalnytska