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AT&T Asks Suppliers to Reduce Packaging

ATT_PckgeVarietyAT&T expects to save 200 tons in packaging waste by requiring its cell phone equipment suppliers to reduce packaging, reports eWeek.

The strategy involves having slimmer packaging that use less materials. It applies to device chargers, cases, batteries and data cables.

By the end of 2011, AT&T expects its suppliers to reduce packaging and use non-petroleum-based inks and recycled materials for in-box materials.

As one example, plastic “clam shell”-style packaging could be replaced by smaller, recyclable paper boxes, reports ZDNet.

AT&T also wants 75 percent of the devices to be at least 65 percent recyclable.

As another way to reduce waste, AT&T will look for the majority of new devices to comply with the energy-efficient GSMA Universal Charging Solution.

To meet EU market expectations, AT&T also is requiring that all new devices be in compliance with the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances.

Last year, AT&T hired an energy director to help it reduce its carbon footprint. It also created a sustainability advisory council comprised of AT&T staff, as well as third parties including the Carbon Disclosure Project, Cisco Systems, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the University of Colorado Denver, and University of Texas at Austin.

In September, a scorecard called AT&T the top “green” mobile carrier.

Sprint also is making steps to reduce its packaging. By redesigning packaging for its phone accessories, Sprint expects to save $2.1 million annually in packaging costs.

This represents a 35 percent reduction in packaging costs and a corresponding reduction in 647 tons of waste annually.

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