Universal Music Catalogue is launching its environmentally-friendly Ecopac CD cases in the United Kingdom with Walmart-owned U.K. mass merchant ASDA.

The initiative initially sees 42 titles from Universal's existing "20th Century Masters - The Millennium" collection stocked exclusively in the new packaging by the grocer, with effect from today (June 18).

The range features catalog material from artists as diverse as Louis Armstrong, Parliament and Joe Walsh. The trial follows a similar launch in the U.S. where Universal Music claims to have sold more than two million Ecopacs though Wal-Mart alone.

Ecopacs are manufactured by Shorewood Packaging from 100% recycled and recyclable materials with PaperFoam trays that are both paper-recyclable and bio-degradable. Even the shrinkwrap is made of starch and biomaterials that biodegrade. No booklets are included in the package; purchasers are guided to a Universal website for those.

According to a statement from ASDA music buyer Andy Powell: "Reducing packaging is one of ASDA's key objectives, and we are considering every option to achieve this goal. The new packaging ensures that CDs are protected and yet can easily be recycled, helping to reduce the U.K.'s environmental footprint."

Silvia Montello, Universal Music Catalogue U.K. marketing director added: "Universal Music takes environmental issues very seriously and we want to make our products as environmentally sound as possible. The Ecopac range is an important step in that process."