The next time you pick up an accessory for your cell phone, it may be packaged in plant-based plastic.
AT&T will begin using a new plastic in its branded wireless accessory packaging that contains 30 percent plant-based materials, the company announced on Monday.
The plastic, which is made with materials sourced from sugarcane ethanol, will be used in packaging for products including device cases and power accessories.
The company will become the first U.S. telecom to use sugarcane-based plastic for packaging, said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president for devices.
A similar plastic has already been used by beverage manufacturers like Coca-Cola for use in making bottles.
While the move won’t completely eliminate plastic, it will cut fossil fuel use by nearly a third when compared to traditional accessory packaging.
The adoption of the new material is part of the mobile giant’s broader aim to reduce its environmental impact.
In March 2010, the company slimmed down its accessory packaging and eliminated the use of more than 500 tons of paper and plastic from that packaging in 2010 and 2011.
The company also uses recycled paperboard and soy and vegetable-based inks in its packaging.
The plant-based plastic will be available in stores and online by Oct. 2, according to the company.
The company hasn’t said whether or not the packaging is recyclable. But if it is anything like the bioplastic used in Coca-Cola’s “PlantBottle™,” it will be perfectly safe for your bin. Check the numbered plastic on the back of your packaging, and head to Earth911 to search for a recycling center near you.