'Football Manager 2020' shoots for fully recyclable retail edition

'Football Manager 2020' releases November 2019 on Mac and Windows PCs, with Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch and Google Stadia also launching. ― Picture courtesy of Sports Interactive/Sega via AFP
'Football Manager 2020' releases November 2019 on Mac and Windows PCs, with Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch and Google Stadia also launching. ― Picture courtesy of Sports Interactive/Sega via AFP

NEW YORK, Sept 18 ― Physical editions of computer game Football Manager 2020 will be 100 per cent recyclable, from its case, ink and shrink-wrap to the DVD disc inside that can be repurposed by specialist companies.

Sports Interactive, the UK developer behind the Football Manager franchise, is projecting a total of 20 tons saved on plastic packaging thanks to a new initiative.

The studio, along with publishing partner Sega, have developed a new style of packaging that consists of a 100 per cent recycled cardboard case, which is then printed with vegetable ink, contains a manual printed on 100 per cent recyclable paper, and shrink-wrapped in fully recyclable low-density polyethylene (LDPE).

Such an announcement coincides with rising interest around climate issues and a series of global climate strikes and marches set to take place on September 20, 2019.

Studio Director Miles Jacobson released a video recorded with Arsenal and Spain football player Héctor Bellerín to present the new, more eco-friendly packaging and wrote to Football Manager website visitors explaining the initiative to fans.

“With the print run of our boxed copies, we are saving 20 tonnes of plastic this year with what we're doing,” Jacobson said.

“We're not the biggest game in the world. Imagine what happens if every other game, if every film company, if every music company switches to this packaging.”

Standard LDPE plastic wrap does not decompose quickly ― hence its widespread appeal as a packaging material ― and the microscopic particles that result from eventual degradation are considered harmful to marine life; research continues into human impacts.

However, in contrast to the plastic wrap Sports Interactive had previously used, LDPE can at least be recycled into other low-grade plastic-derivatives, with trash can liners a typical product.

Inside the retail box, the game disc that contains Football Manager 2020 can be repurposed by specialist recycling companies, Sports Interactive said. The studio is preparing a list of suitable companies for the game's official website.

Even if the entire process costs more, entertainment companies should absorb the cost, Jacobson suggested.

Players could even help too by switching to green energy providers where possible.

After all, as Bellerín proposed, if there's no Earth, there's no money to spend: “Hopefully, all together, we can do little things like this.” ― AFP-Relaxnews

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