AT&T Slims Down Accessory Packaging, Announces New Eco-Friendly Standards for Handsets

Improved Packaging Expected to Save 200 Tons of Wasted Plastic and Paper in 2010 New Design Specifications to Enhance Energy Efficiency, Encourage Recycling, and Reduce Waste from Wireless Phones

Dallas, Texas, Pewaukee, Wisconsin, March 4, 2010


Less is definitely more – especially when it comes to paper and plastic that are typically thrown away. Extending its commitment to environmental sustainability, AT&T* today announced a transition to smaller and more eco-friendly packaging for the wireless device accessories it sells. In addition, AT&T unveiled requirements for manufacturers of mobile phones to reduce the environmental impact of future handsets.

AT&T estimates that the packaging improvements for device chargers, cases, batteries and data cables will help to avoid more than 200 tons of wasted plastic and paper in 2010. According to, recycling one ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space, and recycling one ton of paper saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. So the environmental equivalents of the packaging changes equate to avoiding more than 1,100 cubic yards of landfill space – enough to house nearly 10 school buses – by the end of 2010.

Packaging Enhancements For Accessories
AT&T is working with suppliers of mobile phone accessories to use less plastic and paper in our packaging. For example, the packaging for batteries and data cables will change from plastic “clam shell”-style packaging to small, recyclable paper boxes. The packaging for protective phone cases and car chargers will change to slimmer packaging.

This change will eliminate more than 60 percent of the paper and more than 30 percent of the plastic previously used for accessory products. In addition to containing less paper and plastic, the improved accessory packaging will be printed using non-petroleum-based inks.

“These improvements are sound business decisions, but more importantly, they significantly reduce the impact of this packaging on the environment,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices, AT&T. “This is a small but meaningful next step that AT&T decided to take, and we are pleased to deliver new packaging alternatives that are recycled, can be recycled, and generate less waste.”

New Manufacturing Requirements for Wireless Phones

In 2009, AT&T introduced significant environmental requirements and goals associated with the manufacturing of new wireless devices to be sold by AT&T. The requirements were developed in cooperation with mobile phone manufacturers. The requirements begin to take effect for new wireless phones this year with all goals and requirements being met by the end of 2011. These include:

  • Suppliers will be required to reduce packaging, use non-petroleum based inks and use recycled materials for in-box documentation of new devices.
  • Seventy-five percent of new devices will be at least 65 percent recyclable. By weight, most of the new phones AT&T sells will be made of materials that can be recycled when the phones are retired.
  • A majority of new devices will comply with the GSMA Universal Charging Solution. This will allow consumers to use a single, more energy-efficient charger with most new devices.
  • All new devices will be compliant with the European Unions’ Restriction of Hazardous Substances mandate. This directive restricts the use of lead, mercury, and other hazardous materials used in electronic equipment.
  • Suppliers will be required to assert that all devices delivered to AT&T have avoided virgin materials mined in conflict zones within the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“We have been working closely with our device manufacturers to establish environmentally friendly manufacturing standards that can be implemented now,” Bradley said. “This is the beginning of an ongoing collaboration with our suppliers, and we’ll explore together more ways to soften our impact on the environment.”

AT&T also supports the environment through recycling, alternative fuels, and a focus on energy. All 2,000-plus AT&T company-owned retail stores accept wireless phones for recycling. By the end of 2011, AT&T anticipates collecting roughly 14 million wireless devices for recycling. This translates to keeping more than 920 tons of primary materials and more than 13 tons of toxic waste out of landfills.

** AT&T plans to invest up to $565 million to deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles thru 2018. AT&T also works to enhance energy performance, reduce energy consumption, and is tapping into alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power.

For more information about how you can recycle with AT&T please visit For more information about AT&T’s sustainability efforts, please visit or

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verseSM and AT&T |DIRECTVSM brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T’s Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies.

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