Package Redesign Key to Waste Reduction for HP

Technology giant HP’s commitment to design for environment has resulted in mega waste reduction. By re-designing its North American printer cartridge packages, the company will in 2007:

  • reduce the amount of material used in the packages by an estimated 15 million pounds, including 3 million pounds of corrugated cardboard.
  • increase the use of recycled content and the recyclability of its packaging – PVC (#3) plastic has been replaced with easier-to-recycle, recycled-content paperboard and previously-recycled plastic – 6.8 million pounds of PVC will be eliminated.
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 37 million pounds of CO 2 (the equivalent of taking 3,600 cars off the road for the entire year).
  • Potentially reduce shipping traffic by almost 1.5 million truck miles.

Re-designing with the environment in mind can result in significant environmental benefits while still allowing the packaging to do the same job. For example, their laser printer cartridge packages (left—the new package is in the front) sport a new multi-chamber air bag that protects the cartridge from dust, moisture and impact. The air bag protects cartridges from shipping damage while allowing the exterior box to be smaller than before. This change alone results in:

  • Material reduction – the new design uses approximately 45% less packaging material (by weight).
  • Compact package – 30% more cartridges can be shipped on one pallet; 1,500 more cartridges can ship in one ocean container.
  • Greater use of recycled content and greater recyclability – exterior corrugated cardboard carton is made from 30-85% post-consumer recycled content. The carton and air bag can be returned to HP with the HP printer cartridge for recycling through the HP Planet Partners return and recycling program.

For more information on HP Canada's environmental policy, see their website.

[Source: February 2007 WasteWatch ]