Vinyl sales are on the rise and as demand for LPs and 12″s rise, the need for environmentally-friendly methods of producing vinyl has become more apparent.
That’s where Green Vinyl Records, a group of eight Dutch companies, are working together to develop an environmentally friendly alternative production process for vinyl records.
Green Vinyl Records aims to reduce the amount of energy and waste within the vinyl record manufacturing process by developing durable plastics and clean, low-energy injection moulding processes.
Vinyl – short for polyvinyl chloride or PVC – is a common plastic polymer used in everything from records to credit cards. The vast majority of new plastics are made from crude oil, although a small but growing proportion are now being made by recycling old plastic.
Pure PVC plastic is 57% chlorine, a toxic substance whose production generates substantial pollution. PVC plastic is the only plastic made with chlorine. In addition, PVC plastic requires toxic additives, including heavy metals such as lead, endocrine-disrupting phthalates, and toxic flame retardants, in order to be made into stable and usable consumer products. These additives are released during both the use and disposal of PVC products.
Traditionally, vinyl records are produced with a press that works on steam: a time consuming process that also costs a lot of energy and waste. In addition, the material of which the vinyl records are made contains a number of ingredients which are harmful for the environment, especially during the recycling process.
Vinyl records are still often produced with outdated techniques. There has been little innovation within the last 40 years, which makes the production process particularly energy-intensive, with a lot of harmful residual waste.
The Green Vinyl Records project group therefore considers it important to redevelop the production process, in addition to the development of environmentally friendly plastics.
Green Vinyl Records state: “This process is based on the injection moulding principle instead of pressing. We also replace the plastics of which current vinyls are made with environmentally friendly materials. Maintaining the familiar vinyl feeling is key in this process. Together, we achieve energy savings of over 60%, create a faster manufacturing process and cause less impact on environment and health.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com