Green Packaging for Media

We first addressed the issue of more sustainable packaging for media over four years ago - you can read the original post below. A couple of years later, we looked at Fox's work to determine the carbon footprint of a DVD. A host of innovative packaging options have sprung up since, well illustrated by NBC/Universal.

Packaging tactics from the Green is Universal website include:
- Universal Studios Home Entertainment [USHE] switched to a DVD case with 20% less plastic than standard cases….reducing CO2 emission levels by 1.8 million pounds.
- Eureka seasons 1, 2 and 3 DVD sets are packaged using trays made from used water bottles. Each tray saves 1.25–1.5 water bottles from landfills.
- Since June 2009 all USHE lithos and inserts and have been printed using paper that contains 10–15% less material, resulting in a reduction of CO2 emissions by 4400 lbs per 1 million printed units.
- In September 2009 USHE transitioned all paperboard materials from 18pt to 16pt board. We expect annual CO2 reductions of 4400 lbs per 1 million printed units.
- More than 10 million O-cards, slipcases, digi-packs and boxes have been printed on recycled-stock paperboard.
- All USHE point-of-purchase corrugate displays are manufactured with 75% post-consumer waste recycled content material, and most are printed with environmentally friendly, water-soluble inks.

These are all good options for packagers of physical media to consider, even the media world transitions to lower-impact digital delivery.

Original 2007 post

A eMediaLive article covered companies launching sustainable packaging for CDs and DVDs:

Two companies in the optical media industry who are very excited to talk about "green solutions" are Multi Packaging Solutions (MPS) and Shorewood Packaging…

According to MPS, their new line includes print, packaging, and material options that reduce material usage, eliminate plastic, and incorporate up to 100% post-consumer waste. The main product in the line is the CD/DVD package that features a recycled paperboard tray, available in white or with custom-printed graphics. All components are made by MPS. Also included in the product line are soy-based inks and matte aqueous coatings.

Greenchoice is a Shorewood initiative. Its "green" tool box, as they call it, includes choices for paper and paperboard, inks and coatings, alternative materials, and special green designs, and they say they are now more "conscious" of their supply chain. For example, International Paper's Everest and Starcote folding carton grades, including SBS, are used for most of Shorewood's packaging, and these boards contain only virgin fiber and are recyclable. Shorewood also uses paper with recycled content for CD and DVD booklets, inserts, and wraps.