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Sprint may have made a devil's bargain with Apple for the privilege of pushing the questionably-sourced iPhone, but the cell company maligned for spotty service is pushing the envelope on environmental ethics—and hopefully will pull its competitors along. Today, Sprint announced it will become the first major phone company in the United States to ditch the traditional—and surprisingly wasteful—envelope. The company will send out bills to customers in a patent-pending EcoEnvelope, a Netflix-like two-in-one design that can also be used by the customer for sending checks back to Sprint. The power of perforation on display.
According to the company's projections—and the Environmental Paper Network Paper Calculator—swapping out the traditional envelope will save about 447 tons of paper and $500,000 in operating costs in the first year. That's a C02 savings equal to taking 244 cars off the road.
With those numbers, this seems like no brainer, but reinventing the envelope wasn't easy. Sprint tells GOOD, a "Paper Leadership Committee" at Sprint has been working on the new envelope, which converts from a 6x9 size to a standard one, for nine months. New protocols for packing and unpacking them had to be created and the USPS had to weigh in too.