Since 30 April 2017, computing giant Dell has been using plastic waste recovered from the oceans to package its new PCs. A first in the technology industry.
The plastic waste is collected from waterways and beaches, and is then re-used as packaging for the new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 computer, thus fulfilling Dell's ambition to create a sustainable supply chain. In 2017, this initiative, aimed at sustainably managing plastics, will prevent over seven tonnes of plastics from being discarded in the oceans.
In order to prevent the packaging from being dumped into the sea, Dell will mark each piece of packaging with the No. 2 recycling symbol, to indicate that it is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), an easily-recycled material. The teams in charge of packaging at Dell design then produce their packaging in a way as to ensure that up to 93% of it can be recycled, and thus foster the circular economy.
The supply chain for plastics recovered from the ocean involves several steps: Dell's partners collect the waste at source, in waterways, on embankments and beaches, before they reach the ocean. During the actual process, Dell processes and refines the used plastics, before combining plastics recovered from the oceans (25 %) with other HDPE plastics. The remaining 75% come from used food storage packaging and bottles.
The granules thus obtained are moulded into new protective packaging and sent off in order to finalise the packaging process and, ultimately, to be delivered to the customers.