Telecommunications giant AT&T has introduced its newest sustainability initiative – plant-based plastic. On Monday, the company announced that it would use a new packaging product that is partially made with ethanol harvested from natural sugarcane, a rapidly renewable resource.


The introduction of the plant-based product is another step in AT&T’s plan to reduce its packaging-based environmental footprint. Last year, the company began using less packaging on the wireless accessories that it sells. According to AT&T’s estimate, the smaller packaging size allowed the company to eliminate the use of more than 500 tons of paper and plastic.


“As a company we are committed to minimizing our own environmental impact, and we see the introduction of this plant-based plastic as an important step in the right direction,” said Jeff Bradley, AT&T's senior vice president for devices. “We are excited to be the first U.S. telecom company to use this plastic in our packaging and we hope other companies will join us in finding ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. We are actively working with our accessory suppliers to incorporate both less packaging and more sustainable plastic and paper.”


Customers will be able to see the new plant-based plastic beginning on Oct. 2 on AT&T-branded wireless accessories. AT&T has been repeatedly recognized for its environmental initiatives, including a spot on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens List and inclusion on the 2010 Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index.

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