It's Renewable, Local and Biodegradable

Paper and plastic may be the most common packaging options, but they’re not the only ones. At Dell, we’ve pioneered the use of bamboo to protect certain devices. This giant member of the grass family, found in everything from food to flooring, is now also a sustainable packaging solution. We use it to cushion some of our lightweight products.
Challenge  Solution  Benifits 
Challenge:

Find a greener alternative to the foams, corrugate and molded paper pulp materials often used in device packaging.
Solution:

Sustainably sourced bamboo packaging certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Benefits:

Strong, renewable, promotes healthy soil, local to manufacturing sites, biodegradable, certified compostable.

Why Bamboo?


Bamboo packaging helps reduce environmental impacts and promote a healthier planet
. Here are a few reasons why you can feel good about Dell bamboo packaging:
  • It’s local — The bamboo used for our packaging grows close to the facilities that manufacture our products. This reduces our packaging-related carbon footprint.
  • It grows quickly — Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant in the world. It can grow up to 24" (nearly 61 cm) a day. It can be harvested in just three to seven years — much faster than hardwoods. This makes bamboo highly renewable and a great alternative to foams, corrugate and molded paper pulp.
  • It’s strong and durable — Like steel, bamboo can withstand lots of stress while being stretched or pulled, which is why it’s used for boats, construction scaffolding and other items that require strength and flexibility. Because it’s so tough, we know it can protect your technology equipment effectively.
  • It’s a friend of the environment — Bamboo helps promote healthy soil. The plant’s deep root systems protect against soil erosion. When harvested correctly, bamboo doesn’t require replanting afterward. Plus, Dell bamboo packaging is biodegradable and can be composted after use.
The bamboo used for our packaging grows close to the facilities that manufacture our products. This reduces our packaging-related carbon footprint.
Responsible Sourcing

Sustainability is built into all processes associated with the production of the bamboo. For example, after it is harvested, it is mechanically pulped at a nearby facility. During this process, 70 percent of the water is reclaimed and used in the process (the other 30 percent is lost to vaporization). Nothing is poured out and no toxic chemicals are used. If it's sunny, the pulp is dried by the sun, reducing electricity use.

Consistent sourcing can be a challenge. The demand for bamboo has dramatically increased as others have recognized its value as a rapidly renewable material.
bamboom sourceing map
To mitigate sourcing challenges, Dell is working to build a diversified materials pipeline, relying even more on materials like our wheat straw, which is farmed in many places worldwide.

Recycle with Confidence

Our bamboo cushioning’s environmental profile extends beyond the way it’s harvested and processed. We have worked with Unisource Global Solutions to ensure that the materials would meet the U.S. FTC’s stringent guidelines for recyclability — testing the viability of incorporating the bamboo into existing recycling streams and surveying recycling facilities about acceptance.

Because of the high quality of fiber and the extensive willingness to accept the cushioning as recyclable in the U.S., we include the easily recognizable "chasing arrows" as a reminder to our customers that they can recycle our bamboo packaging in many communities.

Toss It in Your Compost Pile

Adding to its environmental credentials, Dell bamboo packaging has been certified as compostable as per ASTM International standards by an independent test laboratory. This certification ensures that the bamboo will compost satisfactorily and biodegrade at a rate comparable to known compostable materials. It also ensures that the compost resulting from the packaging’s degradation process is of good quality and can sustain plant growth.

Not a composter? Consider becoming one! It’s easy, and you don’t necessarily need a yard. Plus, the benefits to the environment are huge. When organic waste decays in a landfill, it creates methane, a greenhouse gas. When it is composted, it creates high-quality mulch that can be used to enrich soil. For more information on how you can start composting, click here.