Environmental Cost of Eco Packaging

Recycled CD and DVD packaging – is it really good for the environment and what are the best options for eco-friendly disc packaging?
We look at 100% recycled CD & DVD cardboard packaging, open the lid on this subject and help you navigate through the options.

It’s not a well known fact but 100% recycled card uses more bleach in the whitening process during manufacture of the board than virgin pulp does, so is actually more damaging to the environment. There is a better solution that truly environmentally conscious companies have been offering to their clients. A solution that is not only better for the environment but is actually cheaper.

The most eco friendly CD and DVD card wallets are 80% Recycled and 20% FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) sourced board. This uses less bleach to make the board, it’s also cheaper as the heavy bleaching process adds greatly to the cost. And because the 20% virgin pulp is FSC certified, it is guaranteed to be from a sustainable source.
This board can also be used to make other forms of CD and DVD packaging; valid options for clients that do not wish to use plastic packaging for their discs.
Lancing packs (a card wallet with an extra flap), and digipaks (2 or more panels with a tray) can also be made from the same board. Although a digipak does have a tray that is usually made of plastic to house the disc, it can easily be replaced with one made of corn starch for a completely eco friendly CD pack that will completely decompose.
With the addition of foam studs to attach the disc the creative options open up greatly – a disc can be stuck to any flat surface or incorporated, for example, into a book or a bespoke recycled card box.

Another popular misconception is that rough looking board is recycled, or somehow better for the environment. A card wallet can be made with the board reversed (i.e. the smooth surface turned to the inside) which reveals the rough textured board as the outside of the wallet. This gives an interesting texture to the board and can be used to great effect in the right CD and DVD packaging design, but is not necessarily an indicator of the provenance of the board. Once card has been processed it is virtually impossible to spot the difference between recycled, part recycled, virgin or FSC approved board.

Once you step outside the box (so to speak), it is possible to create exciting and eco-friendly packaging solutions for CD and DVD, while still keeping cost realistic. It is essential that you select a supplier with the experience and the sources for all the options available.