As the fastest growing segment in the waste stream, e-waste is primarily known for being made up of electronics and electronics parts. But, what about the plastic case that houses your precious iPad and smartphones? After all, packaging is often the initial material customers see and touch.

Plastic waste from electronics, more commonly know as e-plastics, are the plastics and other packing materials used to encase your expensive devices.

According to a panel at last week’s Plastics Recycling 2014, more cooperation among a range of stakeholders could do wonders to drive the demand of recycled e-plastics.

IT companies like Dell have been pushing for completely waste-free packaging. In fact, Dell has stated its team will continue to work towards this goal and by 2020 100% of its packaging will either be recyclable or compostable at end-of-life. The packaging stream will be made completely out of recycled or renewable material.

Organizations who have implemented responsible recycling practices strive for environmental sustainability. With Dell’s new packaging, ITAD vendors and electronics recyclers can minimize the amount of waste sent to the landfill significantly more with the use substitution of sustainable materials. For example, the use of the straw could alleviate approximately 180 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

For many manufacturers, increasing usage of recycled e-plastic will involve changing the mind-sets of product designers and engineers.

IT asset management and electronics recycler, HOBI International, has taken a leadership role in a design process that goes beyond compliance and seeks best practices in the processing of hazardous and non-hazardous materials found in electronic products and their packaging. Our goal is to educate and encourage OEMs to incorporate best practices in all around electronics recycling through design for disassembly workshops.

The prediction is by 2016 to 2018 we’ll see a dramatic reduction, but we’re dealing with people hoarding material in closets and basements. Community involvement is key in developing sustainability.