Replacing Boxes With Bags, Office Depot Tries to Save 20,000 Trees

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Image: Screenshot via Office Depot

Office Depot says it expects to save 3.5 million pounds of wood-based resources by offering to deliver orders in paper bags instead of boxes—which will also eliminate the use of those plastic 'air-pillows' that you can almost never repurpose once you've opened your package. The program, GreenerOffice Delivery Service, uses bags made with 40% post-consumer recycled content. Those come wrapped in what Office Depot calls a reusable plastic tote, made from 60% post-consumer recycled plastic. Environmental Leader reports that the plastic totes will also be taken back by drivers for reuse in the program, which is being rolled out nationwide after a successful pilot phase.

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Based on customer adoption rates during the a pilot program, Office Depot plans to replace approximately 5 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 (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).

Erin Hafner from the University of Notre Dame, one of the pilot participants, said: "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."

UPS orders, and large orders like cases of paper, will not be eligible for the program.

More on green office habits:
Find Eco-Friendly Office Supplies
Green Your Printing: Print with Recycled Paper
Waste-Less Desktop Printer Uses Plastic Paper and Heat for Erasable Document Printing
Mega Q&A;: Can My Printing Be Greener?

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