Nintendo's apologizing to European customers because they've had to temporarily switch to cardboard game boxes as a result of shortages afflicting that territory, according to Gamasutra's David Jenkins. Nintendo, ever sensitive to gamer needs (and we can't fault them there), is tossing a coupon into paper boxes offering customers a plastic case once supply issues have been resolved.
We admit, those are some high quality plastic cases, but c'mon. The DS cartridge is tiny and holds just 128 megabytes of content. Does it really need to ship with plastic that weighs many times more than the product (3.5 grams)? It's environmentally irresponsible. We understand that large game cases help titles fight for attention on a retail shelf, but there's no reason that they can't do that fighting using more responsible materials.
Comprised of bits, games should be the most environmentally-friendly products to distribute. Nintendo (and other industry players) should use this opportunity to examine packaging.