Doing Our Part to Fight Plastic Pollution

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Sunday is Earth Day, a global day dedicated to celebrating our planet.  It is also a day to pause and reflect upon our collective impact upon the environment and how we and our customers can use our technology to reduce that impact.

This year’s Earth Day theme is dedicated to ending plastic pollution, a topic that Dell has taken to heart over the last decade.

a beach covered in plastics pulled from the ocean

In 2008, Dell started using post-consumer recycled plastics sourced from water bottles and milk jugs in our products.  In 2013, we took it a step further and started putting plastics from e-waste recovered via Dell’s recycling programs back into new products.

A few years ago, Adrian Grenier and his Lonely Whale Foundation made us aware of how the issue of plastic pollution affects the health of our oceans. We were moved to bring more visibility to the issue and produced a fully immersive virtual reality experience called “Cry Out: The Lonely Whale Experience” to take people underwater to experience through the eyes of a whale the impact of pollution. You can download the mobile version here.

But we felt there were more ways we could contribute.

We started a feasibility study to determine if we could use ocean plastic materials in our packaging, which proved out a business case. And last spring, we started shipping our signature consumer product, the XPS 13 2-in-1, in ocean-bound plastic packaging.

Our global team members were inspired to do their part as well. They organized more than 50 ocean and river clean ups around the world to support our company’s commitment. This video from the Philippines #ShoreUp event captures the passion of our teams perfectly.

And this year our events team is taking Dell Technologies World plastic bottle free- eliminating 65,000 plastic water bottles!

We’re honored that these efforts are validated with recognitions like being a FastCompany World Changing Idea Award Finalist.  And today we’re thrilled to accept the ISRI “Design for Recycling” Award for the second time. We hope we’re proving that you can do business while doing good and drive innovation with incredible impact.

But Dell efforts alone will not solve the issues. Collaboration is critical, and everyone has a role to play.

In December, we announced the convening of NextWave, a consortium of companies coming together to create a global supply chain and commercial use-cases for plastic material bound for the ocean.  We are still looking for partners who can create use cases. Please join us!

And between April 22 and June 8, we’re organizing clean ups and encouraging “virtual” volunteering as “citizen scientists” for research projects at, a platform for people-powered research, made possible by volunteers who come together to assist professional researchers in citizen science projects to help unlock answers to big problems.

We hope you will join us in the effort to reduce plastic pollution. Perhaps #stopsucking on straws or skip the plastic lid. Your planet will thank you!

CIO of Dell and VMware, Bask Iyer celebrates #EarthDay2018 and explains how we can do more for the environment with a sustainable approach to Digital Transformation “Seeing the Forest for the Trees: A Sustainable Approach to Digital Transformation

About the Author: Trisa Thompson

Trisa Thompson is the Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Dell, with responsibility for Dell's global giving and sustainability. Previously at Dell, Trisa served as Vice President, Legal, for the Global Operations, Marketing and Product Groups, and was a member of the Legal Team for 12 years. She was the founding co-chair of the Women's Networking Group, W.I.S.E., at Dell, and also serves on the PRIDE Executive Board. She is also a member of the Global Giving and Sustainability Councils. Trisa joined Dell in June 1998 from the Washington, D.C. office of Seyfarth, Shaw. Trisa was a partner with Seyfarth in its Government Procurement Law practice. She specialized in federal, state, and local procurement law and litigation. She joined Seyfarth directly out of law school in 1986.
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