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Vinyl revival: is there an environmental cost to record sales?

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  • Vinyl revival: is there an environmental cost to record sales?

    I've just written an article about the environmental masterpiece ‘Wilderness America / A Celebration of the Land’ a musical exploration of our place within the cycle of living things. Most people know the Walter Hawkins track 'Metropolis' from it.

    I was thinking as I wrote the piece that buying and playing secondhand (I will never use vintage FFS) was actually a good thing, environmentally speaking. How many more landfill sites must they have needed if we hadn't begun our obsessions with the black shiny discs.

    But I did start to think about the cost to the environment vinyl had caused. I didn't mention it in the article but I could see the irony of a record about the environment that was being pressed on polyvinyl chloride in some poison belching factory spewing it's waste into the local ecosystem.

    So I was really interested in this article in the Guardian today and thought you guys might be too - Vinyl revival: is there an environmental cost to record sales?
    - - - -

    Maybe its downbeat with depressing themes and technically imperfect vocals but it is an excellent example of a downbeat mix with depressing themes and technically imperfect vocals


    A heathen, conceivably, but not, I hope, an unenlightened one

    http://www.mixcloud.com/paulhillery/

  • #2
    I read the Guardian article. Grim.

    No direct mention of the transport costs that must be a part of the vinyl experience.

    Some criticism in the online comments on the lack of statistics and sources. But I am afraid that the idea that our hobby contributes to environmental degradation seems clear enough.
    Last edited by Grim Lounge Cowboy; 29-01-2020, 01:09 AM. Reason: I reread the article

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    • #3
      Is the EU about to ban PVC? I thought it was disposable plastics that were being banned. Single use throwaway plastics of all kinds, not just PVC.

      Why didn't the journalist simply ask the european record industry heads whether they planned to phase out the use of PVC. Or what they'd do if the EU banned it's production. They were all together, in Berlin, perfect opportunity to put the question to them. But she didn't. Maybe it was more appealing to write a "fiddling whole Rome burns" style article. Better clickbait headline.
      Dave Lee Roth, I Too Am Running With This Devil Of Which You Speak (sic)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Grim Lounge Cowboy View Post
        But I am afraid that the idea that our hobby contributes to environmental degradation seems clear enough.
        It will be interesting to keep an eye on how this moves forward.

        But let's face it a massive chunk of new vinyl sales is due to the hipster appeal, and with everyone and their dog going Vegan how long before the Instagram influences start a campaign to stop buying vinyl ?

        - - - -

        Maybe its downbeat with depressing themes and technically imperfect vocals but it is an excellent example of a downbeat mix with depressing themes and technically imperfect vocals


        A heathen, conceivably, but not, I hope, an unenlightened one

        http://www.mixcloud.com/paulhillery/

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by pH View Post


          But let's face it a massive chunk of new vinyl sales is due to the hipster appeal, and with everyone and their dog going Vegan how long before the Instagram influences start a campaign to stop buying vinyl ?
          Vinyl revival or not, the sales of it are still extremely small so I wouldn't think there was a very significant problem. Much of what we buy has already been in existence for fifty years or more anyway.
          "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"

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          • #6
            The Guardian posted another Hipster Vinyl Revival Killing Baby Seals! article yesterday.
            Just joking, it's a lot better than the other one, actually, and contains some useful information.

            https://www.theguardian.com/music/20...stry-streaming

            The Green Vinyl Records company mentioned which specialises in environmentally friendly (or friendlier) non-PVC pressings have a website -- I haven't heard any of their products, so I've no idea what they sound like:

            http://greenvinylrecords.com/index.php/home-en-us/
            Dave Lee Roth, I Too Am Running With This Devil Of Which You Speak (sic)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Milesago View Post
              The Guardian posted another Hipster Vinyl Revival Killing Baby Seals! article yesterday.
              Just joking, it's a lot better than the other one, actually, and contains some useful information.

              https://www.theguardian.com/music/20...stry-streaming
              That was the article I read yesterday too ! That's what I thought I'd linked too ? ! Ha ha I'm a fool !
              - - - -

              Maybe its downbeat with depressing themes and technically imperfect vocals but it is an excellent example of a downbeat mix with depressing themes and technically imperfect vocals


              A heathen, conceivably, but not, I hope, an unenlightened one

              http://www.mixcloud.com/paulhillery/

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm off setting my vinyl and cd consumption by scattering acorns everywhere

                Comment


                • #9
                  Is there a scale for reference?

                  How many vinyl records = the equivalent of 1 jumbo jet journey
                  1 jumbo jet journey = how many Tesco delivery truck journey's.

                  Didn't they already ban some material that went into vinyl records ?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Shere Khan View Post
                    Much of what we buy has already been in existence for fifty years or more anyway.
                    This. If they stopped pressing new vinyl tomorrow, it would be sad - but, there is more than enough of it already out there to track down/on our shelves already come to think about it.

                    Surely we are the ultimate recyclers here on VGplus?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Dainty Tudor Duke View Post
                      I'm off setting my vinyl and cd consumption by scattering acorns everywhere
                      No secret squirrels I hope ?
                      - - - -

                      Maybe its downbeat with depressing themes and technically imperfect vocals but it is an excellent example of a downbeat mix with depressing themes and technically imperfect vocals


                      A heathen, conceivably, but not, I hope, an unenlightened one

                      http://www.mixcloud.com/paulhillery/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        And while you're at it, stop cutting down trees to make books!
                        "White paper inner sleeve is pristine ..."

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for both of those links, Milesago . Very interesting food for thought ...

                          Originally posted by Milesago View Post
                          The Guardian posted another Hipster Vinyl Revival Killing Baby Seals! article yesterday.
                          Just joking, it's a lot better than the other one, actually, and contains some useful information.

                          https://www.theguardian.com/music/20...stry-streaming

                          The Green Vinyl Records company mentioned which specialises in environmentally friendly (or friendlier) non-PVC pressings have a website -- I haven't heard any of their products, so I've no idea what they sound like:

                          http://greenvinylrecords.com/index.php/home-en-us/
                          That's the rub ... it has to be as good if not better ... I haven't found any info about what they've pressed so far ...
                          "White paper inner sleeve is pristine ..."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I like to think I am saving loads of cruddy records every month that would otherwise be going into landfill. I am actually saving the planet, one Ken Dodd record at a time.
                            The Downstairs Lounge
                            http://downstairslounge.wordpress.com/
                            http://soundcloud.com/agnes-guano/

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                            • #15
                              I thought old vinyl could be shredded and reuse to make new records? you could give them to charity shops but I suspect there are only so many copies of the carpenters singles collection ( which I find in every charity!) that the shops will take. Make things out of them? There will be only so many people who will feign delight as you present them with a wall clock made from Des O'Connors Greatest hits or a really useful fruit bowl made from swing with James Last. Things you can do with unwanted vinyl. Stack them up with a metal rod through the centre and use as bollards? .Use to build a childrens play house in the back garden?
                              eat chocolate-creams with the appetite of a blase parrot. H H Munro.

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