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Dell to use ocean plastics for laptop packaging

Global – ‘This is the first time my 10-year-old daughter has gotten excited about what I do,’ says Kevin Brown, chief supply chain officer at Dell. The electronics manufacturer has announced, it will start using recovered marine plastics for laptop packaging.

Dell’s pilot programme follows ‘a successful’ feasibility study launched in March 2016 in Haiti. ‘This initiative demonstrates that there are real global business applications for ocean plastics’, stresses Brown.

Dell will use plastics from the marine environment in a tray for its XPS 13 2-in-1 notebook, a combination laptop/tablet. The tray will be made of 25% ocean plastics and 75% recycled HDPE food packaging.

Volunteer pickers and recycling organisations collect the 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 plastics (25%) with other recycled HDPE plastics (75%) from bottles and food packaging. Finally, it molds the resulting recycled plastic flake into new packaging trays.

This year, the pilot will use some 7000 kg of ocean plastics for the production of roughly 300 000 trays. Dell will increase the volume of used ocean plastics up to 8000 kg in 2018.

Since 2008, the electronics producer has included post-consumer recycled plastics in its computers. The company claims to have already reached its 2020 target of using a total of 23 000 tonnes of recycled materials in its products.

Dell has published a white paper on sourcing strategies and plans to convene a cross-industry working group that will address ocean plastics on a global scale.

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