It's a great idea on the surface: Package your product in paper that can be planted and flowers will sprout in the spring. It's sweet, endearing even. And who doesn't love the idea of flowers growing from trash?
Australians, that's who. And for good reason.
Katy Perry's newest album, Prism, uses just such packaging and, while the Australian release has locally sourced seeds, Australian authorities have quarantined the international shipments of the albums to make sure that the seeds contained within do not present a problem for potential invasive species.
Invasive species are a serious threat to the Australian continent with its unique and often fragile biodiversity, and we've seen over and over again worldwide the havoc invasive species can play in ecosystems. According to The Independent:
Strict custom laws mean that copies of Prism arriving from abroad could be confiscated by border control, as plant materials from outside the country must be thoroughly assessed before entry. The Australian release contains Swan River daisy seeds that are considered harmless, but fans are still able to purchase international copies online. A department spokesperson told news.com.au: "Seeds or plant material of international origin may be a weed not present in Australia or the host of a plant pathogen of bio-security concern. Our bio-security officers at international airports, seaports and mail centres assess the risks associated with various items every day and are well-trained in making informed decisions about whether items could be of bio-security concern."
Regardless of what you think of the music, it looks like Perry's album needed to go back to the drawing board -- or at least the garden -- and rethink the packaging. For now, there will be an extra long wait for some Australians ordering the album internationally.