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Office Depot Aims to Save 20,000 Trees With Paper Bag Roll-Out

Office Depot will offer delivery service customers the option to receive supplies in paper bags rather than cardboard boxes, in an effort it hopes will reduce waste by 3.5 million pounds.

The initiative, called the GreenerOffice Delivery Service, is being rolled out nationwide following a pilot in which over 90 percent of eligible customers opted into the program

Based on customer adoption rates during the pilot, Office Depot plans to replace about five million boxes with bags in the initial 12 months of national rollout. By so doing the company hopes to replace approximately 4.5 million pounds of cardboard boxes (at an average 0.95 lbs per box) with about 0.9 million pounds of paper, helping avoid the need for more than 3.5 million pounds of wood-based resources (or over 20,000 trees).

Customers in the program will receive supplies in paper bags that contain 40 percent post-consumer recycled content. The paper bags will be protected during transportation in reusable plastic totes, which also contain 60 percent post consumer recycled plastic, and will be taken back by drivers and reused for future deliveries.

Office Depot says deliveries will not be made by bag for UPS shipments or for large orders like cases of paper.

The University of Notre Dame was one of the early participants in the pilot. “The University discovered that the boxes and the plastic pillows we were receiving from deliveries were a huge burden as far as waste goes and accounted for 200 tons of waste annually,”  said Erin Hafner, programs manager for the University of Notre Dame’s Office of Sustainability. “The Office Depot GreenerOffice Delivery Service will make a significant environmental impact and provides a true benefit to the university.”

“Customer feedback on our new delivery service has been exceptional,” said Juan Guerrero, senior vice president of supply chain for Office Depot. “Many customers were excited by the convenience the program offers – no boxes to open, no air pillows to deal with and no cardboard to handle and dispose of after receipt.”

“Office Depot’s material footprint from cardboard use is significant,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, director of environmental strategy for Office Depot. “This program, championed very effectively by our Supply Chain team, delivers a triple win: our customers win because the paper bags are more convenient to open and recycle; Office Depot wins because we continue to enhance our environmental leadership; and the ecosystem benefits because fewer materials are needed, and less waste ends up in our landfills.”

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