The electronics company is aiming to shift from plastic to bamboo and paper materials. Sony is expected to stop using plastic in its packaging from next year as many big companies around the world are shifting to using sustainable materials according to Nikkei.
It’s expected that Sony will begin the shift to its smaller products in the 2023 fiscal year. Users should expect to see all products weighing 1 kilogram or less without plastic packaging and these will include cameras and all audio devices. Over 40% of all products shipped in 2021 by Sony cover products falling into the 1 kilogram or less category.
Sony will start to eliminate plastic packaging in mobile phones and headphones starting next year pic.twitter.com/85C4KCnbuB
— Anthony (@TheGalox_) November 8, 2022
The Japanese electronics manufacturer will start the shift slowly from 2023 and will later move to other products above the 1kg mark.
As reported by Nikkei, Sony will replace plastic packaging by using paper boxes while it investigates other lines of an alternative that it may develop in the future for packaging material. It is believed that sustainable packaging materials will use sugarcane and bamboo fiber as raw materials.
While alternative packaging has been found for earbuds, cameras, and smartphones, the Japanese electronics company is yet to find a good alternative to replace the polystyrene packaging that is used on its larger products such as TVs for protection.
One option that the company is looking into is using a new foam that is created from recycled paper in powder form but it’s not certain whether the option will be used since the technology is still in its infant days.
Sony will have to wait before making a concrete decision to use this option as a way of protecting its devices that are worth thousands of dollars as the technology is yet to be confirmed.
But the recent move to remove plastic material and replace it with more sustainable packing if it happens will make Sony the first big Japanese company to do so.
Sony has been making strides towards becoming a more eco-friendly manufacturer by using sustainable packaging materials. The PS5 console for example comes with packaging that is fully recyclable and is nearly free of glue and plastic.
Though the company made this move it has however made a bad turn by choosing to use bad packaging on one of its products. The Last of Us Part 1 Firefly Edition for example comes with cheap packaging that can affect the company’s image of being eco-friendly.
We are yet to see if the foam packaging will be used eventually and if it can also be used as an outer packing protection for devices.
The company is pushing for zero environmental footprints by 2050 and has been working hard to achieve this goal. Currently, Sony’s Xperia Pro-I is the first smartphone in the Xperia line-up to come with no plastic packaging for a single product.
The phone was made as part of Sony’s Green Management 2025 Initiative and the same is being used to drive it to eliminate all plastic packaging 2025 from all small products that the company will be designing. The initiative started in 2021 and is a five-year assistance plan to achieve its 2050 dream.
Sony will be changing the exterior packaging of current designs of headphones from plastic to paper while other designs will be redesigned to reduce the total amount of plastic used. For example, the MDR-EX15AP outer design has been modified so that it does not contain 96% of plastic to about 5% less.
With new products, Sony is also making a switch and this can be noted with the recently launched LinkBuds S headset which has been made with recycled bottled water material. The design has a distinctive appearance that looks like cream blue embroidered with light-colored swirls.
The Japanese government in April introduced a new law for all companies to use less single-use plastics when manufacturing or packing products because of environmental factors.
To comply with the new law, Sony will among other things also decrease the amount of virgin oil-based plastics per product by 10% to the total amount of what was used in 2018.
The company is aiming at stopping altogether the use of virgin oil-based plastic products, to reduce its carbon emissions and reduce its waste production by the year 2050.
Most plastics even those used for packaging are a concern to people around the globe as the materials do not decompose when thrown away. The plastic material often breaks down into tiny particles polluting oceans, and the earth’s surface, and in some cases they have also been found in human bodies.
This is part of the Road to Zero environmental plan that the company started in 2010 so that 40 years from then the company could have removed all negative environmental impacts that the company had created.
In 2021 the corporation debuted its own packaging initiative called Sony’s Original Blended Material which was created to be used for packing WF-1000XM4 headphones.
To create this, the company sourced 100% paper materials from sugarcane, wood, and post-consumer recycled paper to replace the perennial trees’ material to create sustainable packaging for the headphones. The annual harvest generates less CO2 than the mature perennial trees used previously.
When the packaging was made in 2021 no one imagined that Sony will also think of fully moving away from using plastic packaging for its smaller products in 2023.
The design also allowed Sony to let go of ink-imprinted signatures and extra coloring for packing boxes and instead replaced the whole exterior look with a more organic appearance.
While it was designed with the WF-1000XM4 headphones in mind, the construction formula could be adjusted to fit the shapes and sizes of other products by Sony.
It is expected that the rollout for new packaging will begin in April 2023 for products weighing 1kg and less while no timeline has been set for the packing of big devices such as TVs.