• Bamboo Cushions Cradling Dell Netbooks, Laptops Receive ASTM D-6400 Certification
  • Bamboo Packaging Can Be Added to Compost Piles for Easy, Environmentally Responsible Disposal

Adding to its attributes as an environmentally-responsible alternative to traditional packaging materials, Dell’s bamboo packaging has been certified “compostable,” making responsible disposal of the packaging easier and more sustainable for customers.

The packaging recently received American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D-6400 certification. This certification confirms the packaging, made from mechanically pulped bamboo from a Forest Stewardship Council-certified bamboo forest in China, will compost and biodegrade at a rate comparable to known compostable materials when added to a hot, active compost pile. The certification also assures that the compost resulting from the packaging’s degradation process is of good quality and can sustain plant growth.

Streak, Dell's 5-inch tablet, is packaging in cushions made from sustainable, compostable bamboo.

“Developing packaging that is lightweight, strong enough to protect our products in transit, avoids the need to cut down hardwood trees and can return to the ground to sustain new plant growth – those are the kinds of long-term, sustainable solutions we want to provide for our customers,” said Oliver Campbell, Dell’s senior manager of packaging worldwide. “We’re exploring the frontier of sustainable packaging here, and we’re actively working to integrate more innovative, agricultural materials into our packaging portfolio.”

Dell began using bamboo cushions to package its Mini 10 and Mini 10v netbooks in November 2009. Dell recently extended its use of bamboo packaging to include a number of Dell Inspiron laptops, building on its commitment to make ‘being green’ easy and cost-effective for customers.

Why Bamboo?

  • It grows fast. Bamboo, a member of the grass family, is among the fastest growing woody plants in the world. It can grow up to 24 inches per day and reaches full harvesting maturity in three to seven years, significantly faster than hardwoods.
  • It’s strong. Remarkably, bamboo’s tensile strength is similar to that of steel, making it a reliable material for protecting technology equipment in transit.
  • It’s easy on the environment. Bamboo helps promote healthy soil. The plant’s deep root systems protect against land erosion, and when harvested correctly, it doesn’t require replanting after harvest.

Ensuring Sustainability

Dell works with bamboo packaging supplier Unisource Global Solutions (UGS) to ensure all processes associated with the bamboo’s production meet the highest standards. The company sources its raw bamboo from a forest that follows Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) principles and criteria. The bamboo forest is located in China’s Jiangxi Province – far away from pandas’ known habitats. Dell worked with UGS to secure FSC-certification for the bamboo’s full chain of custody, from the forest to the manufacturing facilities.

Dell, Georgia Pacific, UGS and Environmental Packaging International are also in the process of certifying the packaging for recycling.

The Three C’s of Smarter Packaging

In December 2008, Dell announced a plan to revolutionize computer packaging. By 2012, Dell aims to reduce packaging volume by 10 percent; increase the amount of recycled content in packaging by 40 percent; and increase the amount of materials in packaging that’s curbside recyclable to 75 percent. To achieve these goals, the company is implementing a strategy based on the three C’s:

  • Cube: How big is the box? Could it be smaller?
  • Content: What is the packaging made of? Could it be made of something better?
  • Curb: Is it easily recycled?

About Dell:

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) is working to make “being green” easy and cost-effective for customers. Learn more at www.dell.com/earth.