Dell has very big plans for cutting down on packaging waste, aiming to cut packaging by 20 million pounds and to make 75 percent of its packaging recyclable, while upping the use recycled or renewable materials by 40 percent. As part of that initiative, Dell has announced that it will be the first technology company to use mushroom cushioning instead of foam when shipping their products.
Ecovative Design's mushroom-based packaging is created by mixing waste cotton seed or wood fiber with mushroom roots, which digest the waste and then form a shape in a mold. The sugars in the waste basically fuel the formation of the cushioning and it all happens in about five to ten days.
Dell has tested the mushroom packaging in a lab to make sure that its products would be protected during shipping the same as they would with traditional foam packaging and the mushroom cushioning easily passed the test. The company will start using the packaging with its PowerEdge R710 server four-packs.
Dell has already been using bamboo cushioning for lighter items like laptops, tablets and smart phones, but the company sees mushroom packaging being the cushioning of choice for larger items like servers and desktop computers.
Once the product arrives at customers' doors, the mushroom packaging is compostable, while the bamboo packaging can be recycled or composted.
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