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Since the plastic contained in standard DVD packaging is a known environmental pollutant destined to remain in landfills indefinitely, the demand for more sustainable DVD packaging options has grown. In fact, if the demand for more eco-friendly packaging options continues to grow at its current rate, this type of packaging may soon become the norm rather than the exception. Consequently, DVD producers and manufacturers are always looking for innovative and efficient ways to meet this increased consumer demand.

The main factor driving this growth is the ever-popular “green” movement which has gained worldwide acceptance in recent years. Due to increased media scrutiny, consumers are now more aware than ever of their own carbon footprint and are eager for product options that reduce their impact on the environment. Therefore, more and more consumers are throwing their considerable purchasing power behind products that support environmentally friendly efforts. For these consumers, DVDs packaged with biodegradable, recycled or renewable materials have a distinct competitive advantage over those that do not.

With sustainable DVD packaging, excess materials are kept to a bare minimum and those that are used are often comprised of 100% biodegradable and recyclable materials. A couple examples of sustainable materials being used in this effort include potato or tapioca starch. These options are both readily available, easily renewable and have a minimal impact on the environment. In fact, the environmental impact of these materials is as much as 85 – 90% less when compared to more traditional packaging options. Other popular earth-friendly options include recycled newsprint and cardboard made from 100% post-consumer waste.

Beyond being inherently environmentally friendly, these more sustainable DVD packaging options also provide the added benefit of being more compact than traditional methods. Whereas older DVD packaging options are bulkier and comprised mostly of non-biodegradable plastic, newer sustainable versions are more sleek and streamlined. The primary benefit to this is that more units can be stored and shipped in the same amount of space. This reduces the environmental impact of transporting the product from the manufacturing facility to the end user because shipping methods become more streamlined and efficient. This also lessens the amount of material needed to pack and store the units while they make their way through the delivery channel. The combined effect is less waste in not only the DVD packaging itself, but in the way it is brought to market, as well.

Of course, in addition to being eco-friendly, sustainable DVD packaging must still fulfill basic functional roles such as protecting the contents inside. Fortunately, as advances are made in the manufacturing process, many of these newer materials are showing drop test ratings comparable to traditional plastic packaging options. Further, packaging made from these materials provides a lot of flexibility in terms of design and style options. This is because they are available in an unlimited range of colors and configurations. This allows the packaging to also serve its more functional role as a sales and marketing tool for the product inside.

Carmen Fontana is Web Services Manager for Western Reserve Internet Services.
Napco USA offers sustainable DVD packaging as well as custom binders, slipcases and custom folders.