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Board Games Becoming more Eco Friendly

I recently received a copy of Catan: New Energies from Catan Studios and Asmodee Canada, and what struck me when unboxing the game (see below) was how much Catan Studios is working towards more eco-friendly produced board games. In fact, I’ve noticed this across the board game industry, and I’m here for it.


As I scrolled through Kickstarter and Gamefound this week, I couldn’t count the number of games that promised eco-friendly packaging and production. Whether that was using recycled plastics to make game pieces, or ethically sustainable wood, the move towards being ecologically responsible is one that I’m happy to see the board game industry making.



There are downsides, of course. Recently, my friend brought over his copy of Sky Team, which opted for round, clear stickers to “seal” the box as opposed to plastic wrap. That’s all fine and dandy, except when removing the stickers to open the box, it left behind a sticky residue that was nearly impossible to get off. Catan: New Energies also used these clear stickers to “seal” the box, but after removal there was no residue at all. Good on you, Catan Studios!

What also impressed me with the Catan: New Energies box was that by using a few pieces of card board to create sections within the box, I was able to put away tiles and cards in nicely protected slots removing the need to put these items into plastic baggies. In fact, the game doesn’t come with plastic baggies at all, and instead includes little cardboard boxes in each player colour to hold all of the player pieces. Brilliant.

Catan Studios also did this in Starfarers Duel, however i wasn’t as much of a fan of those boxes as they didn’t seem to hold all the pieces in a neat fashion. I ultimately had to toss those and use baggies in that box instead, which defeats the purpose of what they are trying to accomplish. I’m not sure if they got some negative feedback from that production, as the boxes in Catan: New Energies are more than large enough to easily hold all the pieces each player will need.

Again, it’s good to see this across the industry. Stonemaier Games, I think, has been a pioneer in this area for a long time, opting to do away with plastic wrap and instead using paper for wrapping cards and boards.

Other companies have been doing this as well, using a light paper wrapping as opposed to plastic wrap for cards. I just hope moving forward more companies do this. Even better, let’s adopt a packing standard in these factories to make sure that within the next year, ALL board games are doing away with plastic baggies and plastic wrap, option for better storage solutions that are meant to last.

Are you a fan of these changes that seem to be more prevalent in the board game industry? What else would you like to see changed?


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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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