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Hewlett-Packard Redesigns Packaging, Cuts GHG Emissions

Hewlett-Packard says new print cartridge packaging for North America will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 37 million pounds in 2007 – the equivalent of taking 3,600 cars off the road for one year.

The emissions savings are the result of smaller, lighter packages that both reduce the total carbon footprint of each cartridge and the truck and freighter transportation traffic required to ship them, according to HP. Newer packaging also contains more recyclable and recycled content.

“What I see here is smart design,” said Greg Norris, Ph.D., environmental life cycle assessment instructor at Harvard University and creator of the Earthster project. “The changes all go in the right direction environmentally and all in ways that make economic sense to HP and its customers. More power to these designers.”

For retailers, the new packaging is also expected to save significant transportation and storage costs.

HP estimates its redesigned print cartridge packaging will eliminate the use of nearly 15 million pounds of materials, including 3 million pounds of corrugated cardboard in 2007. The packaging also will eliminate the use of more than 6.8 million pounds of polyvinyl chloride plastic through material reduction and substitution of recycled content plastic and paperboard.

HP inkjet cartridge multipacks, for example, are now made with recycled content paperboard instead of PVC.

Additionally, HP inkjet cartridge photo value packs are now packaged completely in recycled paperboard instead of PVC plastic. Also, HP says that its PVC has been replaced by recycled plastic in HP inkjet cartridge tripack packaging sold in club stores.

New HP LaserJet toner cartridge packaging uses 45 percent less packaging material by weight according to the company. The smaller boxes can be shipped 30 percent more efficiently – a standard shipping pallet holds 203 cartridges instead of the previous 144.

Overall, HP estimates that the more efficient packaging is expected to reduce truck traffic in the U.S. and Canada by an estimated 1.5 million miles in 2007.

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