Ongoing History Daily: Eco-friendly vinyl

Vinyl is one of the most durable ways of storing music but it’s also not great for the environment. First, vinyl is a form on non-biodegradable plastic. A record thrown into a landfill will stay there for thousands of years. Yes, you could melt it down and recycle it, but there’s a problem there, too.

Traditional polyvinyl chloride is made stable by adding toxic heavy metals like lead or cadmium. Carbon is added to make it black. Melt it down and the result is a poisonous gas called hydrogen chloride.

The good news is that we’re more eco-conscious than ever—and that includes the vinyl pressing industry. There are several companies working on formulas for eco-friendly vinyl and even compostable vinyl, pushed by regulations in the EU that will outlaw heavy metals in vinyl records by next year.

Watch for the vinyl you buy to undergo a revolution in the coming months.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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