The Evolution of Prepaid Phone Packaging

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The Evolution of Prepaid Phone Packaging

By Swathy Ramaswamy and Tammy Hurt

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Monday, March 7, 2016 - 1:05pm



We are working to improve the sustainability of our prepaid phone packaging throughout its entire life cycle.  We focus on reducing the amount of material used, utilizing materials from renewable sources, increasing recycled content and end-of-life recyclability, and improving the efficiency for transporting the packages. 

In 2013, we made changes to our prepaid phone packaging by removing the old material – a polystyrene plastic cushion – and replacing it with molded pulp, an easily recyclable material made from renewable sources. Both the paper and the plastic used in the packaging incorporated a closed-loop recycling and zero-waste production process.

Last year, AT&T worked with our packaging supplier Motivating Graphics to update the look and feel of the packaging to be more sustainable and customer friendly.  We replaced the circular plastic clamshell with a rectangular paperboard storybook, reducing the total amount of plastic in the packaging by 55%. And, since the volume of the packaging was reduced by 30%, we’re able  to fit 80% more packages on a pallet. This means fewer cartons, pallets and trucks are required to transport the packaging, resulting in material and fuel savings and carbon emission reductions. The outer box in the new packaging uses 100% recycled paperboard from a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper mill –35% of which is post-consumer recycled paper.

Also new, phones from overseas production locations are now packaged in U.S. facilities. We estimate that the bulk shipping of phones from overseas – which doesn’t include the packaging that takes place later in the U.S. – reduces transportation related emissions by 65%*.

Packaging updates like these are part of AT&T’s continuing journey toward environmentally friendly practices as we protect and showcase our products. On top of that, reduced emissions bring us another step closer to our goal of enabling customers’ carbon savings 10x our own footprint.

* According to our calculations:

CATEGORY: Environment