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AT&T to Roll Out Plant-Based Packaging

AT&T will start transitioning to a plant-based plastic in packaging for its branded wireless accessories, the company has announced.

The plastic is composed of up to 30 percent plant-based materials, sourced from sugarcane-based ethanol. The new packaging will start appearing in stores and online starting October 2, the company said. The plastic will be used in packaging for products including device cases and power accessories.

Senior vice president for devices Jeff Bradley said AT&T is the first U.S. telecom company to use this plastic in its packaging. In doing so, it has joined the ranks of several beverage manufacturers. Coca-Cola sells its Dasani water across the U.S. in the 30 percent plant-based PlantBottle. Yesterday, Coke announced that it was rolling out the PlantBottle in the U.K., for its 500ml bottles of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke & Coke Zero – but these will comprise up to 22.5 percent plant-based material and 25 percent recycled plastic.

In April, Coca-Cola subsidiary Odwalla announced that it had finished transitioning all its bottles to 100 percent plant-based models, fulfilling a promise made in October. The high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bottles are fully recyclable, the company says.

PepsiCo’s sustainable packaging initiatives include development of a fully recyclable bottle made from bio-based raw materials, the Naked Juice reNEWabottle made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic, and the Aquafina Eco-Fina bottle, which PepsiCo says is the lightest bottle of its size among U.S. bottled water brands.

AT&T announced plans to slim down its accessory packaging in March of 2010. It says that it eliminated the use of over 500 tons of paper and plastic in its packaging in 2010 and 2011. Other packaging efforts have included the use of soy and vegetable-based ink, and use of recycled paperboard.

“We are actively working with our accessory suppliers to incorporate both less packaging and more sustainable plastic and paper,” Bradley said.

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