Dell Turns Marine Waste into Plastic PackagingChuck Heschmeyer | February 28, 2017
Computer maker Dell Inc. is scooping up tons of ocean-bound waste plastic from beaches and urban waterways and turning it into recyclable packaging trays.
The trays will start showing up April 30 in shipments of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 business laptop and feature the No. 2 recycling symbol. Dell says it also will include educational information on its packaging to raise awareness about ocean ecosystem issues.
The trays will consist of 25% recycled ocean plastic, which Dell says is a first for the computer industry, and 75% HDPE (high-density polyethylene) post-consumer plastic. In 2017, Dell says that 16,000 pounds of beach and waterway plastic will be collected and the company is looking for ways to use more of it.
The waste will be collected in and around Port-au-Prince, Haiti, although Dell has identified two urban areas with high concentrations of waste plastic, which, unless collected, will make its way into the ocean. Those cities are Chennai, India, and Manila, The Philippines.
Partners in the project collect the waste at its source before it reaches the ocean. The waste is then processed and refined and mixed with other recycled HDPE plastics such as bottles and food containers. That recycled plastic flake is then molded into new packaging trays and shipped with customer deliveries.
Since 2008, Dell has included post-consumer recycled plastics in its desktops, and as of January 2017, the company reached its 2020 goal of using 50 million pounds of recycled materials in its products. Dell said it’s now focused on delivering in a circular way, in which materials from someone else’s waste stream can be used as raw material for Dell products and packaging.