It claims that it is the first company in the information technology sector to introduce carbon-negative packaging. Dell is working with gas-to-plastic technology specialist Newlight Technologies which produces the thermoplastic material called AirCarbon.

In a statement, Newlight Technologies said that it uses a carbon capture process to convert air and greenhouse gases, like methane, into plastic that is similar to oil-based plastics.

Newlight Technologies claims that this process sequesters more carbon than it produces, pulling carbon from the air and generating a net positive impact on the environment.

Dell will launch use this new material for the packaging sleeves around its new Latitude laptops. It is piloting the AirCarbon packaging in the US and plans to extend it globally for use in both packaging and products.

The company has recently used bamboo and wheat straw for some of its packaging. According to Dell, this has helped it eliminate 20m pounds of packaging and saved $18m.

According to Dell, the new AirCarbon packaging is “greener and less expensive to manufacture than oil-based plastic packaging” and “brings Dell another step closer to achieving its goal of using 100% sustainable packaging by 2020”.

“Dell is using greenhouse gases that would otherwise become part of the air we breathe to replace materials traditionally made by oil,” said Newlight Technologies chief executive Mark Herrema

He added: “We commend Dell for being the first in the IT industry to introduce packaging that reverses the impact of climate change.

“Introducing greener packaging at a lower cost per unit than traditional oil-based plastics is good for the environment and Dell’s bottom line.”

Elsewhere, Dell said it will be the first company in the IT industry to use certified closed-loop recycled plastic in a computer. It will be commercially available in June. By reusing plastics already in circulation, Dell is cutting down on e-waste, saving resources and reducing carbon emissions by 11% compared with virgin plastics. Dell offers free consumer recycling in 78 countries.

Dell plans to use this closed-loop approach as a blueprint for reusing metals and other materials and to accelerate Dell’s goal of using 50m pounds of recycled-content plastic and other sustainable materials in its products by 2020.

Dell chief executive Michael Dell said: “We have a long-standing commitment to conduct our business responsibly. AirCarbon packaging and closed-loop recycled plastics are terrific innovations and big steps forward as we work with our customers and partners towards our 2020 goals.”

Liz Gyekye

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