Disney Smart Packaging Initiative
This past October, entertainment mega-producer Walt Disney announced that they were introducing a plan called the Disney Smart Packaging Initiative. This initiative is aimed at decreasing the amount of consumer waste in the toy industry as well as find creative ways to implement recycled, recyclable, and sustainably sourced materials into many of the beloved Disney toys that correspond to hit movies such as the recently released “Moana.”
The goal of the Disney Smart Packaging Initiative is to significantly decrease the amount of plastics and non-recyclable products used in Disney toys and consumer goods. Many Disney toys in the past have relied heavily on plastic packaging and toys that are unable to be recycled due to unique chemical combinations of plastics and dyes.
To combat this, the toy sector of Disney became the first toy company ever to adopt a smart packaging initiative, which is a commitment to using sustainably sourced and recyclable materials in toys. The Disney Smart Packaging Initiative took six years to be developed. Disney even hired a Sustainable Packaging Coalition Director and Associate Director to ensure that the job was done right.
The first product rolled out by the Disney Smart Packaging Initiative was the Moana doll, from the recently released heroine film, “Moana” (2016). The packaging for the doll is 70% recycled materials, and any dyes used on the doll itself are vegetable-based and non-toxic. In a revolutionary movement, the Disney Smart Packaging Initiative has also ended the use of an toxic or environmentally harmful adhesives and replaced them with plant-based, non-toxic ones. The packaging for the Moana doll can also be manipulated into a boat for the doll, adding to the “reuse” factor of “reduce, reuse, recycle.”
Other toy companies such as Mattel, Lego, and Hasbro have jumped on board with the Disney Smart Packaging Initiative. The companies have partnered with the Smart Packaging Coalition to decrease wasteful packaging of toys and improve the safety and environmental impact of the toys themselves. The companies are all currently working together to find ways to achieve maximum environmental-friendliness while still reducing overall cost of producing the toys and their packaging.
Disney is now also hosting workshops on sustainability in the workplace and for children’s products. The Disney Smart Packaging Initiative offers these workshops for free and as voluntary options for partnered companies to come and hear the latest updates on sustainability, cost, and prototypes in the toy industry.