Hypebot has an interesting report on the trend in music packaging moving away from plastic and towards post-consumer recycled cardboard and paper. The story follows a hefty joint study by the RIAA and the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) on the environmental and toxicological effects of various packaging options:
Think moving from less plastic to more cardboard – even recycled cardboard – is the answer to going green? Think again. Some new packaging still uses a bit of plastic to hold the CD in place and that creates a “mixed” recyclable that can be even more difficult to dispose of. Even all-cardboard cases cause problems unless you use just the right adhesives since most glues contain carcinogens.
Metal fans will remember Ozzy Osbourne’s last full-length, Black Rain, for its decidedly unattractive and flimsy packaging in the name of saving the planet. Hopefully the asphalt-colored cardboard release wasn’t created in vain by falling into the “not so green” category.
Metal Insider has not yet read enough of the 69-page study (lol, like we can read that much) to give our opinion, but feel free to take the report with a grain of salt. Standardized plastic cases are still generally cheaper to produce than alternative packaging, so the RIAA and NARM may have some incentive in debunking cardboard and any production methods that drive up cost.