The Dutch company Green Vinyl Records is offering a more sustainable but expensive solution to the backlog in the vinyl industry.
The company’s new large-scale pressing machine uses up to 90 per cent less energy than traditional record production, which can be monitored in real time and not retroactively.
The machine in Eindhoven avoids the use of PVC (polyvinyl chloride – which gave vinyl its name). PVC remains the most environmentally harmful plastic. Instead, the machine uses polyethylene terephthalate (Pet) which is a more durable plastic that is easier to recycle.
Harm Theunisse, owner of Green Vinyl Records, believes the machine will set a “new standard” for the industry.
“This machine can do almost 40 per cent more capacity than the traditional plants, too. The pressing here is both faster and better for our planet,” said Theunisse.
According to Sharon George, senior lecturer in sustainability at Keele University, the obstacle to finding environmentally friendly alternatives to PVC has always been the inability to achieve the same rich sound quality while maintaining the hardness and durability of plastic.
George said the Green Vinyl Records method was “a real step in the right direction.”
“We need to stop thinking about the cost at the till and think about the cost to the planet and our health,” Gorge said.