Hewlett-Packard, the world's number one personal computer (PC) maker, has swapped bulky boxes for fabric bags in delivering its latest PCs to Wal-Mart.

HP was responding to a challenge from the world's biggest retailer, which asked 30 of its largest consumer electronics suppliers to cut down on its packaging.

Eco-friendly bagging

HP claimed that it had reduced by 97 per cent the amount of foam, cardboard and plastic that's used in its packaging.

The $800 Pavilion PC went on sale in 1,700 Wal-Mart outlets and 594 Sam's Club stores across the US. The computer company can also ship 25 per cent more units at a time.

Wal-Mart aims to reduce both its long-term reliance on non-renewable energy, and its waste, to zero. While Wal-mart declined to give a full list of companies participating in the challenge, Lexmark, Sanyo and Philips have also taken part in the scheme.