New Packaging Results In 37 Million Pound Reduction In Greenhouse Gas Emissions

hp inkthis is the old packaging, its made of indestructible PVC, and also comes with several plastic inserts, a cardboard holder, and a foil bag inside, trying to open is very very hard. Plus look how big it is compared to what you get out of it?! At least it comes with the recycling envelope inside...
Anyone who like myself has had to use a jackhammer to get the printer toner open will welcome this news. HP has announced that its redesigned 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.(1)

How will they do this you might ask? 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. 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 (, an open source software platform designed to make opportunities for sustainable production and purchasing globally accessible. “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 while freeing up valuable display space.

“Innovation at HP goes beyond just product design,” said Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice president, Supplies, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. “Developing environmentally responsible packaging is not only valued by HP, our customers and our partners – it’s also good business.”

Environmental benefits

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.(1) The packaging also will eliminate the use of more than 6.8 million pounds of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic through material reduction and substitution of recycled content plastic and paperboard.(2)

HP inkjet cartridge multipacks, for example, are now made with recycled content paperboard instead of PVC. In fact, since 2003, HP has reduced overall package weight for inkjet cartridge multipacks by 80 percent and quadrupled the number of packages that can be carried in a single truckload.

Additionally, HP inkjet cartridge photo value packs are now packaged completely in recycled paperboard instead of PVC plastic. Also, PVC has been replaced by recycled plastic (PET – RPETG) in HP inkjet cartridge tripack packaging sold in club stores.(3)

New HP LaserJet toner cartridge packaging uses 45 percent less packaging material by weight. The more compact package also contains an innovative multi-chamber air bag that protects the cartridge from transport damage, dust, moisture and light. The smaller boxes can be shipped 30 percent more efficiently – a standard shipping pallet holds 203 cartridges instead of the previous 144.

Overall, the more efficient packaging is expected to reduce truck traffic in the United States and Canada by an estimated 1.5 million miles in 2007.(4)

Retail benefits

Retailers also should realize savings in shelf space from the new packaging. Front-facing surface area for multipacks has been reduced by 80 percent.(5) New HP inkjet cartridge tripacks sold at club stores can be stacked three-high on shelves, as opposed to two-high in the past. And new HP LaserJet toner cartridge packaging offers retailers more than 30 percent shelf space savings.

“Environmental considerations are key to Office Depot’s business,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, environmental strategy advisor, Office Depot. “We are pleased to see a manufacturer like HP make changes that are in step with our environmental objectives and can also benefit our business goals.”

(1) Estimates are based on projected 2007 print cartridge sales in the United States and Canada. Global warming gas (carbon dioxide equivalents) emissions reductions calculated based on anticipated 2007 sales, using packaging configurations before and after recent improvements. Environmental impacts modeled with SimaPro 7 (PRé Consultants, The Netherlands, 2006) lifecycle inventory software. Carbon equivalency factors from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Calculations from
2) Estimated reductions compare current to prior packaging designs, using anticipated 2007 sales.

(3) The term “tripacks” is used here to describe club store packages, most but not all of which contain three cartridges.

(4) Based on anticipated 2007 sales, shipping in full truckloads, 1,000 mile average trip distance from distribution centers in California and Virginia.

(5) Inkjet retail multipack example (display width x height): current dimensions: 4.8 inches x 6.4 inches; previous dimensions: 10.7 inches x 13.4 inches.

5 thoughts on “New Packaging Results In 37 Million Pound Reduction In Greenhouse Gas Emissions”

  1. Why was it not packaged this way the first time? This was ridiculous, and made people mad when trying to open the package.
    Who is next ?

  2. Jacques: I think that before companies worried more about branding and how their packaging looked and felt, and not so much about what the customer wanted, or how it effected the earth. The green purchasing revolution has made it more cost effective and more desirable economically for them to use less and more eco-friendly packaging.

    this is a great example of how pressure on companies from consumers and governments and media can help them make good choices.

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