These days many of us order products online rather than trek out to a store. Once they arrive and you open the box, the first thing you do is remove what they're packaged with: shredded paper, plastic airbags, foam peanuts, and/or those little packets that say SILICA GEL - DO NOT EAT. (I find that the latter actually go down fine, though sometimes I need to chase them with a bit of coffee.) Then whatever packaging you haven't eaten usually goes in the garbage.
Dell's latest environmental effort is to pack their computers with cushioning made from bamboo, which can then be recycled in the corrugated cardboard waste stream:
Dell is implementing a computer packaging plan that will result in estimated savings of more than $8 million and the elimination of approximately 20 million pounds of packaging material over the next four years.
...Dell says bamboo is preferable to [standard packaging] materials because it grows fast, at up to 24 inches a day, and is strong enough to protect equipment during transit.
The company grows their bamboo in China's Jiangxi province in a forest certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which sounds like a laborious process; I think it would be easier to harvest by wresting it from the mouths of baby pandas. But whatever, they're a multi-national corporation, I'm sure they know what they're doing.
via environmental leader and the stamford advocate