Vinyl is making a comeback, and a British company says it has created the world’s first bioplastic record to help musicians sell their music in a greener way.
Most vinyl records are made from Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which is described by Greenpeace as “the most environmentally damaging plastic.”
Marc Carey, CEO of Evolution Music, tells CBS News that many people are surprised to learn just how toxic the process of making vinyl the old way really is.
“We know it’s PVC, so there’s chlorine gases, there’s also dioxins,” Carey said.
That led him on a four-year journey to reinvent the record — a mission to turn black vinyl, green.
“I want sustainable products in a 21st century environment,” he said. “So, I had to form a new company and do it myself.”
Now his company Evolution Music is turning the tables, testing an eco-friendly, secret recipe that includes sugar and starches — spinning out records they hope will one day become an industry standard.
That’s music to many artists’ ears.
Producer Rob Cass told CBS News that when he puts a bioplastic record on the turntable, he’s “listening for any pops, crackles, surface noise, and that’s very good.”
The Cave Productions director said the sound quality from the bioplastic records rivaled the old fashioned material.
“We believe the quality is extremely high, just about as high as vinyl. Maybe 95%,” he said.
Blood Records founder Craig Evans said his jaw dropped when he heard the bioplastic record.
“The first time I heard one of those test pressings, I couldn’t believe what I was listening to was basically made of bioplastic and plant waste,” he told CBS News.
R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and pioneering American artist Beatie Wolfe are among the musicians getting into the groove.
“The artists are increasingly shouting at the labels that we need to be more environmentally aware,” Evans said.
Vinyl sales in the U.S. topped $1 billion in 2021, for the first time since the mid-1980s. Evolution Music said that once they go into full production, their bioplastic records will cost about the same as vinyl records.
CBS News’ Tina Kraus contributed to this report.