Warner Home Video is releasing new DVDs in cases that contain 20% less plastic. As a result of the effort, the company will reduce carbon emissions from its home entertainment division by 31%–and slash materials and shipping costs in a division with flagging sales. Warner says that the initiative is driven primarily by environmental concerns, but it certainly helps that the flimsier DVD cases save cash, especially since DVD sales are down 20 to 30% in some categories.
Other movie studios are also working on lightening DVD cases’ loads. Sony Pictures Entertainment reduced the size of its DVD by cases 20% last month. Both Sony and 20th Century Fox are leading the charge on Blu-Ray discs, which come in smaller cases that reduce environmental impact by up to 30%.
Mainstream DVD distributors still have a long way to go in their quests to cut carbon emissions. Green living company Gaiam now manufactures its DVDs in plastic-free packaging made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper and 100% recyclable materials.