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"Eco-Friendly" Packaging Here To Stay


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#1 of 73 MatS

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Posted March 26 2009 - 10:20 AM

looks like eco-friendly packaging is here to stay

Quote:
Sony to launch green initiative with Mall Cop
Single-DVD cases to use 20% less plastic

By Susanne Ault -- Video Business, 3/23/2009

MARCH 23 | Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is launching a massive green packaging initiative, starting with the May 19 DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

From Mall Cop on, all of Sony’s single-disc standard-definition DVDs will incorporate ultra-light cases that feature 20% less plastic than Sony’s previous single-disc standard DVDs and will be covered with plastic shrinkwrap that is 20% lighter. The printed artwork that wraps around boxes will use paper that contains 30% post-consumer waste. Previously, Sony had been using 100% virgin paper.

The studio’s goal is to reduce carbon emissions associated with its DVD manufacturing and distribution by 2 million pounds in North America by the end of 2009.

“What we were looking to do was be efficient and over time, deliver cost savings,” said Lexine Wong, senior executive VP of worldwide marketing for SPHE.

The lighter cases also should help the studio trim both packaging costs and freight charges.

“For the last couple of years, we have been looking at ways to be sustainable and make a difference,” said Wong. “I think our industry and our studio are really committed to environmental issues. All the studios are.”

The Mall Cop box is an Amaray-style case with parts of the box wall cut out to use less plastic. It won’t be the only box Sony uses in the future, and the studio said other green packaging might involve thinner plastic material. The ultra-light cases are currently limited to Sony’s standard DVDs packaged as single discs, but the studio is studying how to extend the change to Blu-ray and higher-end DVD releases.

The Mall Cop DVD (prebook April 16; $28.96; Blu-ray will be $39.95) also will be packaged without a cardboard ‘O-ring,’ saving more than 2,200 trees, or 322 tons of wood, according to Sony. The studio is still considering whether to drop O-rings from future titles.

The embossed cardboard sleeves that slip over many DVDs have been the subject of much industry discussion, because eliminating them would offer environmental benefits and cost savings. The sleeves can carry more elaborate artwork than paper inserts, however, so they are considered key to making releases stand out on shelves.

Several studios have been using greener packaging solutions, following Wal-Mart mandates that vendors both clamp down on carbon emissions and reduce packaging.

Already studios have worked to meet Wal-Mart’s goals, slimming average DVD packaging weight by about 30% between 2006 and 2008. The carbon imprint for a title (encompassing emissions from manufacturing, packaging and transportation to retail) dropped to 0.98 lbs. in 2008, down from 1.1 lbs. in 2006, according to the Digital Entertainment Group.

Warner Home Video was behind one of the first studio-wide green efforts in 2007 when it switched from using virgin stock to partially recycled paper in all art covering its DVDs. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment rolled out the first carbon-neutral DVD with November release Futurama: Bender’s Big Score.

Before introducing its packaging strategy, Sony first collaborated with expert organizations the National Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“The intelligence and energy that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has brought to this ecologically valuable initiative is inspiring and sets an example for all manufacturers of DVD packaging,” said Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the NRDC. “This is a valuable step in the right direction and should encourage all DVD manufacturers to take action against global warming, to protect intact forests and conserve resources.”

Sony is launching the effort in North America only, but hopes to soon roll it out to European and Asian markets.
Sony to launch green initiative with Mall Cop - 3/23/2009 - Video Business

#2 of 73 Stephen_J_H

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Posted March 26 2009 - 10:26 AM

I applaud the elimination of O-rings, and using thinner shrink wrap (personally, I think shrink wrap could be eliminated altogether were it not for the North American fetish with opening a new package--the theft deterrent labels all the way around should suffice Posted Image), but I REALLY don't like these cases with the cutouts. they scream "cheap and nasty." They could probably save the same amount of plastic by making the box walls a fraction of an inch thinner.
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#3 of 73 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted March 26 2009 - 12:27 PM

I can see it now. Discs will no longer need to pop out of broken (or not) hubs to get all scratched up, etc. Posted Image They really should at least leave the backside alone.

Also, I suspect w/ the cutouts, the backside will flex more, which will probably result in discs accidentally popping out of their hubs more easily. I certainly noticed that when I opened up my Silence of the Lambs BD.

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#4 of 73 Powell&Pressburger

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Posted March 26 2009 - 03:34 PM

I guess SONY doesn't care about people who like to protect the cover art inserts of their BLu Rays that they pay so much for.

I guess we can now expect our prices to drop on Blu Rays right Sony? I doubt it.

If the cost isn't passed down to the consumer then I say protect the cover art and don't give me holes. If they want to drop retail prices then so be it. It is only for PR for the companies to say look what we did for the environment we took a really simple Blu Ray case that is already smaller than a DVD case and now we are making it cheaper and it will be prone to being damaged more easily.

Most stores treat DVDs and Blu rays like bricks tossing them around and even when you buy one they manhandle them like it were nothing.

Sorry I like to have my collection looking good.

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#5 of 73 Ryan-G

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Posted March 26 2009 - 06:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Powell&Pressburger
I guess SONY doesn't care about people who like to protect the cover art inserts of their BLu Rays that they pay so much for.

I guess we can now expect our prices to drop on Blu Rays right Sony? I doubt it.

If the cost isn't passed down to the consumer then I say protect the cover art and don't give me holes. If they want to drop retail prices then so be it. It is only for PR for the companies to say look what we did for the environment we took a really simple Blu Ray case that is already smaller than a DVD case and now we are making it cheaper and it will be prone to being damaged more easily.

Most stores treat DVDs and Blu rays like bricks tossing them around and even when you buy one they manhandle them like it were nothing.

Sorry I like to have my collection looking good.

The cost passed down to the consumer is a significant reduction in the waste of limited natural resources and the reduction in pollution. More than sufficient benefit. There comes a point where it's not a dollars and cents issue, and a point where it's an issue of intelligent use of limited resources.

We can reduce the amount of plastic used by eliminating portions of the case that are not seen without comprimising the structural integrity, so we effectively have a responsibility to do so.

Further, there's no reason to assume that there will be any comprimise in the integrity of art. There's no evidence, as there's almost no instaces of the cases on the market and those that are present are very recent.

As far as the stores go, what has changed? Those who care will do exactly what they do now, shake the package, check it for damage, and pick through the rack.

We burn through absolutely ridiculous amounts of waste every day. Here's an example of waste that can be reduced, so it is incumbant upon us to reduce it. The more ways we can reduce waste, the more resources we preserve. It's additive.

When we're talking millions upon millions of an item every year, that math adds up really quickly. So unless you want to explain to your grandkids that the earth is a resource barren landfill because "Looking good" is more important that conservation, you may want to consider whether or not this really matters much in the grand scheme of things.

Because we're making billions of tons of platics every year that come from some limited resource, and do not degrade in any reasonable timeframe.

#6 of 73 Doug Otte

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Posted March 27 2009 - 02:18 AM

Hear, hear, Ryan. I agree wholeheartedly.

I can't picture this: "...Amaray-style case with parts of the box wall cut out..."

Can someone please describe it or post a link to a picture?

Thanks,
Doug

#7 of 73 mylan

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Posted March 27 2009 - 02:40 AM

I noticed this with my new BD copy of Quantum Of Solace. The case is very flimsy and parts of the label have no backing when you open it up, think of the reels on a reel to reel tape deck or movie reel and that is what the plastic shell looks like.
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#8 of 73 Todd Erwin

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Posted March 27 2009 - 03:23 AM

These cases sound similar to the eco-friendly keepcase Lionsgate used on "Still Waiting," although it did arrive with an O-ring sleeve.

So much for being eco-friendly.....

#9 of 73 cafink

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Posted March 27 2009 - 03:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan-G
We can reduce the amount of plastic used by eliminating portions of the case that are not seen without comprimising the structural integrity, so we effectively have a responsibility to do so.

I'm not convinced we can do that. Like Man-Fai, I'm concerned that these cases will be much more flexible than their ordinary counterparts, and more likely to break or to cause the disc to pop off the hub. This should be especially concerning for those who frequently order discs on-line, as the buyer cannot give the "shake" test as you suggest. I (and most folks who regularly order on-line, I think) have had a number of problems with broken cases and loose or scratched discs. The "Eco-box" is a step in the wrong direction in this regard.

Quote:
Further, there's no reason to assume that there will be any comprimise in the integrity of art. There's no evidence, as there's almost no instaces of the cases on the market and those that are present are very recent.

There's plenty of evidence in the deformity of the packaging insert that occurs even with ordinary DVD cases. Areas where there are gaps in the plastic, such as the rim around the disc, the hub that actually holds the disc, and the tabs that hold inserts, tend to create depressions and deformities. The art is also much more susceptible to punctures and tears in those areas.

Again, adding more holes to the case is just going to make the problem worse.

Quote:
When we're talking millions upon millions of an item every year, that math adds up really quickly. So unless you want to explain to your grandkids that the earth is a resource barren landfill because "Looking good" is more important that conservation, you may want to consider whether or not this really matters much in the grand scheme of things.

Yeah, a slight difference in the amount of material used to create a DVD case is going to turn the planet into a "resource-barren landfill."

Posted Image
 

 


#10 of 73 Loregnum

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Posted March 27 2009 - 04:24 AM

I will have to see it in person to make a conclusion but based on the description I fail to see any issues with this UNLESS of course the pieces being cut out do cause the case to flex and have the disc pop out.

Maybe it is just me but I don't throw darts at my cases so I don't really care if it isn't 100% thick plastic and there are some "holes" which I would hope would be in strategically located places so you wouldn't just grab a case and bam, push the cover art through it.

So yeah, I am cool with this in theory but again, I'll have to see the finished product to know for sure. I do have to chuckle at how companies/people go about trying to "save the environment"...how about movie studios cut down on ridiculous movie premiere events just to show off the celebrities that prolly use a hell of a lot more energy and stuff than bluray/dvd cases.

#11 of 73 RDarrylR

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Posted March 27 2009 - 04:25 AM

So the packaging they are talking about is what we see with the Silence of the Lambs Blu-ray?

#12 of 73 mylan

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Posted March 27 2009 - 04:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loregnum

Maybe it is just me but I don't throw darts at my cases so I don't really care if it isn't 100% thick plastic and there are some "holes" which I would hope would be in strategically located places so you wouldn't just grab a case and bam, push the cover art through it.


It is very easy to squeeze the case and push the cover art through, at the very least to wrinkle it and I could see the disc getting damaged at worst. This case is flimsy. I am all for saving the planet but this is not the way.
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#13 of 73 CraigF

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Posted March 27 2009 - 06:52 AM

I'm all for "saving the earth"...but there's packaging and there's *packaging*.

Yes, minimise the packaging that's intended to be thrown away, or the packaging for a consumable product where the whole thing is "thrown away" in short order.

But I really don't appreciate flimsier packaging of the type that is meant to be kept and to protect the interior product i.e. virtually an integral part of the non-disposable product.

Going from Amaray to slim DVD cases makes sense. DVDs are still decently protected. If "they" really cared about the environment they'd use slim cases the size of the disc i.e. like a CD jewel case but of the slim DVD case thickness and material. That would save far more plastic and protect the BD perfectly, and would save resources consumed in making more shelves for me to store them on LOL (I could fit more on less shelves).

Sony is strictly about making money. I bet there's some more coin in this licensed package design for them somehow...

#14 of 73 MatS

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Posted March 27 2009 - 07:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Otte
Hear, hear, Ryan. I agree wholeheartedly.

I can't picture this: "...Amaray-style case with parts of the box wall cut out..."

Can someone please describe it or post a link to a picture?

Thanks,
Doug
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#15 of 73 Powell&Pressburger

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Posted March 27 2009 - 07:11 AM

the whole idea just feels like a nightmare. I wish I didn't care what shape my collection was in and I wish I didn't like to keep my collection looking like new. I wish I were like those who toss there dvds etc around and use them as coasters etc.

I don't and therefore I detest this case. it DOES NOT FULLY protect the cover art insert.


I wish I could meet the person who created this case, they obviously could care less about their collection in fact I doubt they own a blu ray. They probably don't even like film.

People need to get used to the fact we want a fiilm and we paid for it for God's sake let use keep in it a case that protects it. If not though the discs in a bin at Walmart and we can fish them out for 5.00 each.

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#16 of 73 Sam Posten

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Posted March 27 2009 - 08:24 AM

For mass consumer shovelware DVDs ok, for BD collectors Fail.

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#17 of 73 Cameron Yee

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Posted March 27 2009 - 08:38 AM

This type of case crossed my path not too long after I learned about ink-saving fonts:

Posted Image
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#18 of 73 Douglas R

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Posted March 27 2009 - 08:54 AM

The Robe came with a cut out case and it looks awful - cheap and nasty. Seems more like a way of saving money in the pretence of going "green". If going "green" is so important, then just stop buying DVDs!

#19 of 73 TravisR

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Posted March 27 2009 - 08:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas R
If going "green" is so important, then just stop buying DVDs!
By that logic, we should also stop using anything that causes any pollution. The idea is cut back where we can on the damage being done.

#20 of 73 Will_B

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Posted March 27 2009 - 08:59 AM

I'd guess that using less plastic is less of a motivation than cutting down on the shipping weight of pallets of product.

All in all I don't mind the new case, though I too wish they'd just made some of the case walls thinner rather than having big cut outs.
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