Gaming peripheral companies A4T and ABP Technology have formed a joint initiative to save sixty tonnes of single-use plastic from landfill in 2019. Further to a decision to improve packaging in 2017, the companies have since undertaken “a complete redesign of packaging” and now all products within A4T and ABP’s respective 4Gamers and Stealth lines now ship in “100 per cent plastic-free packaging”.
“In the first half of 2017 it quickly became apparent that the whole office was hooked on David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II. Everyone loved it and it was a frequent topic of conversation — so all this was down to a ‘water-cooler moment’ I guess, or more like a bunch of them,” said sales director, Paul Carrington.
“Our collective love for this programme definitely led to us genuinely beginning to consider how we could help. We knew there was a lot of plastic in our packaging, so the potential was there to make a difference. We had a multitude of things to consider: from stickers to cable ties, inner trays and hooks — and while each seemed like a small change, we soon realised they would amount to a significant reduction in landfill waste or worse still, ocean-bound plastics.”
It’s thought that throughout 2019 A4T and ABP will ship over one million units. Given the average weight of plastic per product is 60 grams, that equates to over 60 tonnes of plastic in one year alone. And though there are fears some might consider plastic-free solutions as less durable than the previous plastic iterations, “controlled tests were carried out to assess durability; some of these even involved dropping prototype packaging from the company’s second-storey office windows”.
“We’ve significantly reduced our use of plastics through a complete overhaul of our packaging processes and we’re delighted to be leading this initiative across the industry,” Carrington added. “Seeing how much this has changed our outlook as a company though, I do wonder just how big an impact we’d have — collectively as an industry — if others joined us in going plastic-free.
“Sixty tonnes becoming six hundred tonnes, that’s the dream.”
The upcoming Football Manager 2020 will be released in cardboard packaging, rather than the usual plastic case, to try and make the game’s release as eco-friendly as possible. “Due to the current climate emergency, we’ve decided that from here on we will distribute our games in the most environmentally-friendly way that we possibly can”, said Miles Jacobson OBE, studio director of Sports Interactive.