AT&T has announced plans to introduce a greener plastic in the packaging for its branded accessories. The new material is composed of up to 30% plant-based materials sourced from ethanol harvested from natural sugarcane. The sugarcane used is a rapidly renewable crop and replaces nearly a third of the fossil fuels previously used in the packaging.
It doesn’t sound like a huge step forward, but AT&T says it’s the first US telecoms company to use this plastic. It doesn’t compare with the likes of Dell, though, which is using bamboo-based packaging for smaller products, including smartphones and notebooks, and mushroom-based ‘cushions’ for heavier products like servers and desktops
To be fair to AT&T, the adoption of the new plastic is just part of the company’s commitment to minimize the environmental impact of its packaging. In 2010 AT&T announced plans to slim down their accessory packaging and in 2010 and 2011 eliminated over 500 tons of paper and plastic. It has also been using soy and/or vegetable-based ink and recycled paperboard. The company also said “We are actively working with our accessory suppliers to incorporate both less packaging and more sustainable plastic and paper.”
Let’s hope other ICT companies follow suit.