From Design to Processes: Greater Synergies Mean Greener Packaging
The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that about 36% of all plastics produced are used in packaging. To make packaging greener, Huawei has continued to pursue innovative designs and packaging processes. As part of this goal, we use eco-friendly packaging materials, reduce packaging waste, and recycle packaging materials as much as possible.
- Mechanical Simulations Enable Minimalist All-paper Packaging Designs for Antennas
In the past, packaging designs were primarily based on personal experiences. Empty space in packaging has traditionally been used to protect products against possible damage in complex transportation scenarios. To address this challenge, Huawei decided to use advanced mechanical simulations to determine exactly what packaging would be needed to protect products during transportation. By simulating the actual conditions of different modes of transportation, we gathered quantifiable data to support more effective designs for the cushioning used in our packaging.
Mechanical simulations have been extensively used to evaluate our packaging designs. Take our passive antenna products as an example. After the simulations, we replaced all of the plastic foam with all-paper packaging, making the packaging materials more degradable. We also introduced a major change to our design approach to customize packaging that prioritizes protecting key parts, instead of all parts, of our products, in order to avoid overpackaging. In 2022, this approach helped reduce packaging waste for passive antenna products by about 55 tons.
- Reducing Plastic Packaging with Innovative All-in-one EPP Foam
Huawei is exploring lightweight packaging solutions to minimize the use of packaging materials, especially plastics. In 2022, Huawei began using an innovative all-in-one expanded polypropylene (EPP) packaging process. Brand information and packaging function labels can be directly imprinted into EPP foam, eliminating the need for cartons and reducing the amount of plastics used in the packaging.
Currently, this technology is used for products like boards and power products. For example, the packaging used for our 5G BBU boards is 33% less by volume and uses 65% less materials compared with traditional packaging, all while providing the same level of protection.
- Unique Recycling Symbols for More Effective Resource Recycling
As cities continue to expand and grow, urban solid waste is becoming an increasingly pressing problem. Packaging waste is one of the main sources of urban solid waste. The identification and classification of materials has always been a key obstacle to recycling. Huawei is committed to making recycling easier by managing packaging waste at the source. In 2022, we began working to ensure recycling symbols were printed on every single piece of packaging material used for our components. Currently, we have printed recycling symbols on all packaging used for our main ICT products. The small triangle logo gives packaging materials a second life, driving the circularity of materials.