Green CD Packaging, my arse.
Definition of greenwashing
Greenwashing is a communication and marketing strategy adopted by companies or other organizations. It consists in putting forward ecological arguments in order to forge an ecologically responsible image among the public.
Now, the music business is full of hype, believe me, it’s true! I frequently get requests for eco packaging for CDs from musicians who want their merch to be eco-friendly, low carbon footprint, etc. I have looked at this time and time again and the conclusion always is that bespoke packaging is more expensive. Expense means not only the materials and energy in making the product but also the energy that has to be spent in earning the money to buy the CD too!
But today I received this bit of spam marketing from a company called BPC which really takes the biscuit! They are selling what in effect is a cardboard digipak which sounds good. So I asked for a price of 250 to 1000 pieces. I was shocked to see the cost. 250 the typical run quantity for a small gigging band would cost over £4.00 each and if you ordered a thousand its still be well over £2.00 each (£2.43 to be precise). Add in the cost of the CD, mastering and design the ‘merch’ will cost more than you can ever sell it for.
In reality, music sells on the quality of the performance at gigs. Nice touch if you serve it up in a recycled paper bag but in reality, the carbon footprint created by the venue, travel, and beer consumed at the gig completely outweighs the real impact of the traditional plastic box or card wallet. The latter is as close as you can get to minimizing carbon unless you want to use some fancy recycled eco-friendly cardboard of course!