|Reusable bags made from recycled theater projection screens / Courtesy of CGV|
By Park Han-sol
Sustainability has already emerged as a trendy theme in today's corporate practices. But its significance has been made especially apparent amid the global coronavirus pandemic. The standstill in tourism and drop in carbon emissions due to lockdowns and travel bans have resulted in reduced air pollution and wildlife filling the vacuum of human presence in some regions, albeit temporarily.
The phenomenon seen as devastating for people has, at the same time, made us rethink the human impact on the environment.
But can the eco-friendly boom manifest itself in the entertainment industry characterized by intangible, nonconcrete products such as films and music?
Multiplex chain operator CGV found the answer in disused projection screens. In the last two years, more than 70 screens have been discarded by the company's theaters as they went through renovations or closures.
Previously, such screens no longer in use were considered as waste and subsequently discarded. But in January this year, the materials were reborn as colorful, eco-friendly reusable bags.
In collaboration with the social enterprise a'dren, the multiplex chain produced two types of bags, orange and blue, each with unique patterns inspired by the vibrant imagination of children ― a flower garden one dearly misses and an ice cream resting on a hammock.
The message "I am Reborn from CGV SCREEN" is labeled inside the bags, which are sold at the a'dren official homepage as well as CGV's online and offline shops in Seoul's Yongsan and Wangsimni areas. A portion of their sales will be donated to childcare centers that helped bring the patterns to life.
|K-pop songstress Chungha / Courtesy of MNH Entertainment|
Environmentalism has also made a small yet solid impact on the K-pop industry.
Songstress Chungha dropped her much-awaited full album "Querencia" last week, carrying her lead single "Bicycle" along with 20 other tracks. After its release, she emphasized the eco-friendly aspects of the physical album.
"It's a hot topic nowadays, so we wanted to produce the album made with environmentally friendly papers. We also tried to minimize the use of lamination and other unnecessary plastics, except for photo cards, something very important for our fans," the artist said in a local radio show.
K-pop photo cards are, as the name indicates, small pictures of idols that come with each physical album. One album will typically carry one or two of them.
"In addition to using eco-friendly materials, we designed the album with the minimum amount of plastic. The album box and booklet were not laminated, and instead of plastic CD jewel cases, we packed them with paper envelopes," Chungha's agency MNH Entertainment explained in an interview with local news outlet NewsCulture.
Such focus on sustainability is a quite novel, yet relevant, attempt in the K-pop album industry, where fans often buy multiple copies of albums to not only show their support but also to collect an entire set of photo cards.
The agency added that it is also deftly connected to the album's title ― a clean, sustainable environment that we protect with our own hands can certainly become our oasis.