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What is eco vinyl?

What is eco vinyl?

Holly Conquer |

A growing concern in the world of vinyl is sustainability. Records themselves are difficult or impossible to recycle, and the production methods of new records release dangerous emissions, while also making use of valuable crude oil.

Fortunately, there are some uses for scratched or damaged records – many people make use of them for upcycling and art projects.

This is hardly a surprise; the rise of vinyl came when these considerations weren’t much of a concern. However, with vinyl sales continuing to grow, there has never been a better time to step back and consider new methods.

 

 
Some artists releasing new music have begun to have their music pressed on ‘eco vinyl’ or ‘eco-wax’. This typically means using the leftover PVC pellets from other pressings, which results in murky multi - coloured discs.

These records are also made with consideration of other materials, using recycled papers, no shrink wrap and finding ways to carbon offset the transport and power usage.

Eco-wax is still not the perfect solution, as its existence requires the use of raw PVC pellets to create ordinary records. The production of eco-wax also uses the same presses/plants as traditional production.

 

 
A small number of pressing plants have shifted to methods that use renewable energy instead of fossil fuels, but ultimately, the use of PVC is still the burning problem.

There is one group of companies called ‘GreenVinyl’ based in The Netherlands seeking to change this completely, but unfortunately, they have been quiet for a couple of years and it isn’t currently clear what progress has been made. They are developing a method for injection moulding their own ‘customised plastic compound’ which is (presumably!!) recyclable/reusable. You can learn more about them via their website or the video below.


In other good news, there is a conference called ‘Making Vinyl’ which brings together industry professionals in order to (among other things) initiate discussions on how to improve and catch up with our ever-increasing need for protecting our environment.

It is a relief to know that there are people out there actively seeking out ways to improve the future of the industry and contribute to a healthier planet without losing our love for music pressed (or should we say injected!) onto discs of plastic.

We would also recommend buying second-hand vinyl when you can. There's a lot of brand new reissues of old albums about, but there's still plenty of old copies too!

Why not buy the original version from Atlas Records?

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