What is this…Eco-box? Really?

This week I’m going to continue my tirade on the current state of DVDs, for lack of something better to talk about.
Recently these new style of DVD cases caught my attention, the so-called “Eco-box”.


Sure, it uses “20% less plastic” than the average DVD case and it’ll help save the world or whatever (or they’d definitely like for you to believe) but it also compromises the sturdiness of the case and possibly DVD itself.


Notice the puncture on the left side of Travolta’s lips and the one on the back on the side of the info at the bottom that both happen to line up with the missing hard plastic case. Coincidence? Hardly, both areas are just plain flimsy without the case behind it. There are also a couple other random indents but luckily the DVD itself was unharmed. Apparently all Sony movies will be this way from now on. I’ve already encountered 3 like this including Quantum of Solace, Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, and Broken Arrow (seen above). Ugh, what’s next? The all flimsy carbon neutral cases that futurama movies have used thus far?


– DGM-payne

13 Responses to “What is this…Eco-box? Really?”

  1. 1 DDB9000 Jun 18th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Hello DGM-payne,

    I found this page while trying to find out when exactly companies first started using these damned cases. I am in total agreement with you about their lack of sturdiness (and the carbon-neutral cases are crap too). I’ve been lucky enough to only get 3 so far, but I write because of another reason. I work in a library, and while I don’t personally process our DVDs (I do CDs), I often work with the guy who does. When we got the first one of these in (I forget which one is was), he brought it to me and basically said “have you these these crappy cases before?”. I hadn’t and was surprised and disgusted. In the library, of course, we get a lot of usage, items going in and out all the time, getting manhandled all the time. All you need is for someone to return one of these in our book drop, and then the nest person drops, say, a CD down the chute, and the corner of it hits the spot on the cover where there’s no protection. Of course because of this we have extra DVD and CD cases for exactly this reason. Now we find we have to do preventative replacements on these DVDs. The DVD guy and I have talked about keeping track of which ones we get with these crappy cases by company, and then later sending them a bill for having to replace the cases. Of course the cost is relatively minor, but it’s the thought (and annoyance) that counts. Of course I can get extra cases anytime I need one, but most people don’t work in libraries or places where DVDs are sold. Still, if enough people got together and tried sending a bill to the motion picture companies, well…OK, maybe it won’t work, but at least we could annoy them back!


  2. 2 DGM-payne Jun 18th, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Hey DDB9000,

    Thanks for the comment. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one annoyed by these things. I’ve received a few more with Eco-boxes here and there since the time of this posting, even with some older movies that I thought wouldn’t be affected but were re-released this way apparently. This library situation is exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about when we say that these cases are just not sturdy enough. I definitely agree that we need to show them that this is a mistake or, as you mentioned, annoy them enough that they do something about it especially since we’re paying the same (if not more now) for these new shabby cases.


  3. 3 Nathan Oct 21st, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    I hate these damned things and I’m trying to get a few folks to sign the petition to stop distributors from using them. http://www.petitiononline.com/ecobox/petition.html

    Thank you & please spread the word.

  4. 4 DGM-payne Oct 21st, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Hey Nathan,

    I’d be happy to spread the word about your petition. Glad to see more people against them. I’m getting pretty sick of seeing cases with dents on the inserts thanks to the Eco-boxes. Is this what we’re paying for?

    I also first noticed today that the trend is starting to creep into video game cases as well. Ugh…


  5. 5 T-5150 Oct 31st, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Find Something else to talk about. I think I just wasted 5 min of my life reading this crap.

  6. 6 DGM-payne Nov 1st, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Well, I’m sorry to hear that but some of us are just concerned about what we’re paying for in a DVD case.
    That’s all, take it or leave it.

  7. 7 WOW Feb 18th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    OMG! What’s the big deal? Okay, I understand the lack of durability, but come on already. Like T-5150 stated, I think I lost minutes of my life here. These cases use 20 percent less plastic, which is made from petroleum!, and reduces the companies carbon emissions. Sounds fair to me. Oh, and by the way, if you want your DVD’s protected, use a DVD rack or similar device. Cheers.

  8. 8 DGM-payne Feb 24th, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Wow, I’m really amazed by how much exposure this post still gets after all this time…
    First off, it’s not really the protection after I buy them that I’m concerned about. I’m perfectly fine with displaying them on shelves without them getting further mangled one bit. It’s the storage in stores where it causes problems. Alot of the time these DVDs are dumped into bargain bins (like the one picked up above) where they don’t stand nearly as well as a chance of preventing dings and wholes in the inserts as regular DVDs because of their flimsy packaging. I know some people just put all their DVDs into a binder or something similar and disregard the cases but I’m one of the ones who likes to put theirs on the display shelves and I don’t want my DVD cases to look like crap whenever I take something out to view. Is that too much to ask? It would be alot less of a problem without the eco-boxes in play.
    On a related note, I’ve noticed some cases that use a less plastic method that shaves down parts of the case to about half the thickness or so (I’ll add a photo of these particular cases if I get around to taking/finding one). I’m just fine with this kind of case, but punching some holes in the case to save a measly 20%? C’mon! Feels like some eco-nazi bull being crammed down our throats to me. That’s just my view on the whole thing, thanks.

    – DGM-payne

  9. 9 Clint Aug 29th, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    I am sick of this eco-box crap. These are useless. And all the green-freaks can can it. 20% of something that weighs maybe 1/10 of a pound? Hmmm. Work that one out.

    I pay for movies – give me proper cases.

    I recommend that everyone go out and buy a stack of blank “real” DVD cases, and replace the eco-box cases with these ones. I have a stack under my desk, and immediately replace the eco-box case as soon as I get the DVD.

  10. 10 Ammstratocaster Feb 18th, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I totally agree. I’m all up for being sustainable, but not when it is used to skimp on something that shouldn’t be cheapened! If they are going to be sustainable, they should skimp on things that will be thrown away anyhow, such as the plastic wrap surrounding the final product. It’s bad enough we no longer get chapter booklet inserts.

  11. 11 branden Jan 28th, 2012 at 8:59 am

    i agree, i bought 3 dvds from walmart and the cases are eco box. the fuckin things are shit. global warming is a conspiracy anyway, i burn all my own garbage and even have people pay me to burn their garbage so that they dont have to sort it for collection, i burn probely 450lb of garbage a week and i havent seen any negative health or environmental effects so therefore global warming is a myth. fuck u greenpeace

  1. 1 Riskening 2009 : A Retrospective at The Riskening Begins! Pingback on Jan 10th, 2010 at 2:34 pm
  2. 2 A further look at eco-box types… (aka the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) at The Riskening Begins! Pingback on Feb 28th, 2010 at 11:58 pm

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