ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY (AND UNFRIENDLY) DISC PACKAGING OPTIONS
It’s hard to avoid using plastic in disc manufacture, but are there any choices an artist can make to reduce the environmental impact of producing an essential stock of discs?
The answer is yes. In a nutshell, avoid polystyrene cases like jewel cases and pick another type of packaging. But which packaging is best?
Here’s a quick run down of the environmental impact of discs and the different types of environmentally friendly (and unfriendly) disc packaging options available.
Discs are manufactured from optical grade polycarbonate(OGP), a pure, high impact form of plastic essential for a laser to reliably read the information contained in the disc substrate. OGP may be recycled into less pure but still very useful plastics for use in sunglasses, reading glasses, hard clear plastic drinking glasses that are almost impossible to break and various other plastic products. Disc manufacturers now routinely on-sell OGP by-products from the disc manufacturing process to specialist plastics recyclers which further reduces the environmental impact of manufacture. The discs themselves can also be broken down by recyclers to extract the OGP disc layer for use in recycled OGP products.
Polystyrene (PS) jewel cases are manufactured from a chemical that is particularly damaging to the environment – polyvinyl chloride(PVC). These cases usually contain several additives, including lead, so it becomes the least recyclable of the major plastics. It is also the least recycled of all major plastics and generally ends up in landfill. Recycling plants and brokers will accept jewel cases for recycling and if you are disposing of jewel cases from your CD collection in future, please contact Replicat for our latest list of recycling depots. We hope that jewel cases become a thing of the past very soon, and that our clients opt for one of a large range of better environmental alternatives.
Polypropylene (PP) cases are a much better environmental alternative to jewel cases if you require plastic cases for retail sale, long life storage or disc transport. One advantage of polypropylene cases is that they are almost impossible to break. Have you ever managed to shatter a clear DVD library case? It can’t be done. The other major advantage of PP cases is less obvious. PP cases are 100% recyclable. You can extract the PP from a DVD case, granulate it, put it back into an injection moulding line and make a different PP case. This major advantage of PP has led to the design of PP jewel cases to take the place of PS jewel cases. Replicat offer these PP jewel cases for sale as part of our range. Our PP range includes PP DVD library cases, PP mailer cases and PP jewel cases.
Paper and cardboard products may not have the longevity of plastic cases, but they are biodegradable and won’t sit around in landfill for thousands of years if someone forgets to recycle them. Replicat offers a very extensive range of wallet packs, cardboard sleeves, Australia-post approved mailer wallets and paper wallets as alternatives to plastic packaging.
Recycled paper and cardboard products further reduce the impact of disc packaging on the environment. The paper is manufactured with recycled paper and can be provided in standard coated, uncoated and some beautiful textured finishes. Our entire range is now available in recycled white and brown card and paper stocks. As the demand for these products increases, the range of stocks will improve, the price will fall and even our current small price surcharge will be removed. All Replicat digipak, wallet pack and paper booklet and sleeve packaging options are available in recycled stock.
Most replicators now offer an extensive range of packaging options that are manufactured with recycled paper and card stocks and polypropylene (100% recyclable) plastic.
Recycled paper stocks instead of virgin. Paper instead of plastic. Polypropylene instead of polystyrene. Regardless of the packaging you require, there is always a choice you to reduce the environmental impact.