1991, May 28

Days of "longbox" for Compact Disc (CD) packaging are coming to end with blessing of retailers, National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) told recent House hearing. Plastic packaging used to sell CD and protect its "jewelbox" in racks isn't biodegradable, although NARM quoted industry figures claiming longbox has added only fraction of 1% to America's waste stream. "We have chosen to view its elimination as an opportunity in which we can not only do our share, but set an example to other industries," NARM said, reporting group's Jan. decision to endorse smaller, environmentally sound CD packaging. But NARM opposed jewelbox-only solution, saying retailers generally can't display hand-sized package and CDs would be more vulnerable to theft. Jewelbox Advocates & Mfrs. (JAM), whose members make CD jewelboxes, plastic resins, record labels, etc., endorsed tiny packaging alternative, claiming it already was standard in other countries. Enclosed only in plastic wrap, which JAM said is disposable, jewelbox packaging can offer environmentally sound option that's highly acceptable to consumers. Assn. saw merchandising display problem as solvable with financial incentive program to help stores cover costs. It also discounted theft problem, noting size of popular audiocassette is similar yet they're sold in open racks. House Transportation Subcommittee chaired by Rep. Swift (D-Wash.) is considering proposing federal packaging requirements, minimum recycling content standards, labeling rules, unspecified packaging tax. 

source: Communications Daily, May 28, 1991, Tuesday, Vol. 11, No. 102; Pg. 7