disney’s smart packaging initiative (SPI) confronts sustainability head-on
As much as one third of all waste in the U.S. comes from packaging with only 30% recycled and for Disney's Consumer Product business, this was especially concerning as research revealed that two of the top five environmental concerns for Disney products were:
1. Reducing the amount of packaging
2. Using more recyclable materials
Disney's Smart Packaging Initiative aims to set new industry standards. The program was launched in 2014 after six-years in development and Disney is working with partners such as the Sustainable Packaging Coalition to ensure their goals are measurable and shared with the wider industry.
"Disney's Smart Packaging Initiative (SPI) is a first for the toy industry. The SPI's rigorous metrics-driven approach, combined with its thoughtful scoring system, makes it one of the most innovative and robust packaging sustainability assessment tools out there." - Adam Gendell, Associate Director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition
The sustainable packaging measurement and design tool reduces packaging waste, increases packaging recyclability, optimizes on-shelf performance, and reduces costs for the whole industry including licensees and industry reps. The tool examines packaging designs, gives an "SPI Score" and provides intuitive design tips and comparisons against industry norms to allow designers to reduce the environmental impacts of packaging.
Toy merchandise for the new Walt Disney film Moana features toy packaging made along SPI principals with 70% recycled paper, printed with vegetable-based inks and designed without glue or tape allowing the packaging pieces to separate easily.
image courtesy of stadigital.com
When a category leader takes such a proactive approach to sustainability it's great news for everybody. The LEGO Group, Hasbro, Mattel and Jakks Pacific have all implemented principles from the tool and continue to leverage it in their packaging decisions. Design and measurement tools encourage positive action and allow consumers to see who is acting responsibly.