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Disney Launches SPI for Sustainable Future

Disney’s Smart Packaging Initiative is the need of the hour for a better planet; a challenge to the toy industry


With sustainability becoming an important norm in the Industry, it is packaging which makes companies to take one step behind in the process of sustainable future. For a huge company as Disney, this was a challenge as even the research revealed that two of the top five environmental concerns were to reduce the packaging and to use more recyclable materials.

While they began to address this issue through easy-to-open packaging and re-affirming their commitment to the environment in stores and with its licensees, its new smart packaging initiative takes sustainability to a new level for the company and the industry at-large.

“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,” said Adam Gendell, Associate Director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

Disney’s SPI is serving as a sustainable packaging measurement and design tool that will reduce packaging waste, increase packaging recyclability, optimize on-shelf performance, and reduce costs for the whole industry including licensees and industry reps.

Disney has implemented the same through its upcoming release Moana, wherein the Moana doll packaging is made with 70% recycled paper, printed with vegetable-based inks and was designed without glue or tape allowing the packaging pieces to separate easily. What’s more, the box itself can be turned into a boat inspired by Moana’s journey, providing an added element of fun for parents and kids. As Luis Fernandez, Senior Vice President, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, explains “Everything at Disney starts with storytelling, even our toy packaging. By combining Disney magic and our smart packaging principles, we created a package that’s not only better for the environment, but also a way to continue Moana’s story.”

The SPI was first launched in 2014 to use the resources wisely. Since its launch, the world’s largest toymakers including The LEGO Group, Hasbro, Mattel and Jakks Pacific, have implemented principles from the tool and continue to leverage it in their packaging decisions.

Meanwhile, Disney is integrating the SPI across all toy SKUs, hosting sustainable design workshops to drive packaging innovation among all licensees, and offering the SPI as part of Disney Consumer Products’ “License to Lead,” a collaborative, voluntary program offered to licensees.


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