The DVD is a robust and dependable information storage device and among the various types of content it can store are video and audio data, software, games, and more recently, promotional material. The global demand for DVDs stands at eight billion units per year.
What many people do not know is that the ingredients which are used to make a conventional DVD include polycarbonate – a derivative of oil, a natural resource whose supply is fast dwindling, and non-biodegradable binder materials which are also toxic. In more particular terms, conventional DVDs are simply non-recyclable. This fact was a major concern ever since the inception of DVDs in 1993 and this prompted research into alternative eco-friendly tech. After several failed attempts, the world was finally presented with environment-friendly eco discs.
The production of eco DVDs is a revolutionary solution which upholds the concept of environmental sustainability i.e. easing pressure on raw materials whose continued production/extraction is unsustainable.
Eco discs have one rather than two polycarbonate layers, which translates into a 50% reduction in the use of this oil-based derivative. The single layer also eliminates the need for using the aforementioned toxic resins and this further translates into a 50% reduction of the energy which is used to bind the polycarbonate layers in conventional disks. The overall production process also boasts a significant 52% reduction in the volume of carbon emissions. The final product is not only environment-friendly but also lighter in weight, and the single polycarbonate layer makes the disc more flexible and thus a much more sustainable device for data storage.
Eco discs have the same optical and electrical properties, and the same capacity (4.7 GB) as conventional discs, thus the question of playability is a non-issue. They have a lifespan of 200 years which guarantees a lifetime of safe and dependable archiving. The reduced weight also translates into a bargain in the cost of postal and freight charges as well as an increase in warehouse capacity, and the increased flexibility translates into more durability with respect to both packaging and handling. The mass production of copies of these discs is equally trouble-free with regards to both replication and duplication processes.
The road leading to the creation of eco discs was certainly not as rosy as the final results are. Eco discs prototypes were put through stringent testing and quality assurance processes which sought to ensure that these discs would be compatible with most if not all DVD players and drives. One of the instances where the production of these discs suffered a major setback was when they proved incompatible with Mac ROM drives but the issue has since been resolved.
Eco discs present an ideal chance for companies and even artists to show their concern for the environment. Newspaper and magazine companies are reeling in the joy of using flexible discs for the cover mounts of their respective media, which is now pushing sales up unlike other strategies such as placing web links in the pages. The use of eco discs is also another proactive way for companies to define their smaller carbon footprints as part of their corporate social responsibility strategies.