We love our oceans. Not just because of the endless opportunities for entertainment they provide (corrugated surf’s up, bro!), but because of the immense beauty and ecological importance they hold for our planet. Ernest Headquarters is about a 40-minute drive from Long Beach, and every day we strive to keep it and all our world’s beaches free of debris by driving sustainable, eco-friendly solutions in packaging. Thankfully, we’re not alone in our mission.
In recent years we’ve seen a number of companies rise to fight the global tragedy of man-made debris making its way into the ocean, and this year computer company Dell is stepping in the ring with a solution of their own. Dell is experimenting with a process to recycle plastics floating in our planet’s oceans and turn them into eco-friendly inserts for laptop packaging. They’re on track to pull nearly 9 tons of plastic from our oceans in 2017, with a goal to increase that number to 100 tons by 2025. Here’s what the supply chain looks like:
- Dell works with laborers who make their livelihood collecting ocean plastics from beaches, as well as volunteer groups and professional recycling organizations.
- The ocean plastics are collected and sorted to separate plastics containing toxic substances.
- The non-toxic ocean plastics are mixed with other recycled plastics to ensure the chemical composition and stability of the end product is not compromised.
- The plastic mix is poured into a mold, which creates a recyclable tray insert for Dell laptops. The tray is stamped with a #2 recycling symbol and an illustration of a whale and her calf.
Image courtesy of Dell
There’s no denying that plastic is ever-present. It’s used in so many ways in so many products that it’s definitely not a thing from the past. And that’s okay because more work is being done now than ever to pave a sustainable future for plastic. With the goal of keeping plastic in the economy rather than on our beaches, Ernest Packaging Solutions and other forward-thinking organizations are driving the responsible utilization of plastic materials, by:
- Reducing the amount of plastic used in packaging by engineering more efficient solutions
- Reusing plastic materials whenever possible to eliminate unnecessary waste
- Recycling plastics for use in future packaging, which in turn is easily recyclable by the consumer
Seeing plastic on beaches and in our planet’s oceans is one of the worst feelings we can imagine, but knowing we’re part of the growing fight to prevent this tragedy gives us purpose in everything we do. Sustainability is the future of the packaging industry, and we take pride in helping our customers find environmentally friendly solutions for their packaging. Check out our Sustainability Initiatives brochure to learn more about how you can join the cause to make the world a better place.
Read more of our blogs on packaging sustainability.