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Wrapped in Dutch spuds

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Apple's new iPhone 3G will be shipped on July 11 in a potato starch paper tray. Apple placed an order with Dutch company PaperFoam, which also makes packages for Motorola.

The company confirmed this today to Dutch blog Bright. According to CEO Hans Arentsen, Apple ordered "millions of paperfoam packages" for its new 3G iPhone.

The company was established in 1998 in the Dutch rural town of Barneveld - best known for its poultry farming and egg production - with the idea to make products using potato starch as an important ingredient. Once the injection molding technology was fine-tuned, the first commercial products came on line. By 2004, more than 150 million PaperFoam trays were being produced.

The first mainstream products were CD and DVD trays. Later PaperFoam produced trays for the first generation iPod nano and iPod video.

Arentsen doesn't want to reveal too many details, but says the iPhone will be delivered in a cardboard box with a starch tray (the inner part of the box), which is fully recyclable. The company claims a carbon footprint reduction of 90 per cent compared to plastic. The product consists of 100 per cent natural resource, either potato starch or Tapioca starch.

In the past, Apple has often been criticised by Greenpeace for using Brominated Fire Retardants (BFRs) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) in its products. Last year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs promised a greener Apple. ®

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