Sony DVD packaging goes green

'Paul Blart: Mall Cop' to use 20% less plastic

Paul Blart: Mall Cop has a new job, as Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s green ambassador.

The title, releasing on DVD and Blu-ray May 19, will kick-off a launching a massive green packaging initiative at the studio.

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 is really committed to environmental issues. All the studios are.”

The Mall Cop box has walls that are cut out to use less plastic. The DVD also will be packaged without a cardboard outer sleeve, saving more than 2,200 trees, or 322 tons of wood, according to Sony.

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.

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