Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Evolution Music and Professional Monitor Company (PMC)

Change the record: biomass replaces plastic in vinyls

Publishing & Media

Is this innovation a key step towards more energy-efficient music production?

Spotted: Vinyl is back – nearly 50 million vinyl records were sold in the US in 2023, a 14 per cent increase on the previous year. Drawn by the warmer, more authentic sound and depth that can only be experienced with vinyl, audiophiles are moving back to records. While this may be good news for the record industry, it is bad news for sustainability as vinyls are made from virgin PVC plastic.

Although global production of records only accounts for around 30,000 tonnes of PVC each year, startup Evolution Music argues that this number could just as easily be zero. The company has developed Evovinyl, a material made from sugarcane that can be used to replace PVC in the manufacture of vinyl records.

The company claims records can be produced and played on the new Evovinyl using existing equipment, and that they have the same sound quality as PVC. Because the new bioplastic compound requires lower temperatures to press into records, it can reduce the energy used to press records by around 30 per cent. Records can also be pressed around 50 per cent faster – leading to even more savings.

High-end loudspeaker manufacturer PMC recently invested in Evolution and is exploring ways to use Evovinyl to replace the plastic parts in its loudspeakers. The company has also seen interest from major record labels and artists such as Michael Stipe, Coldplay, HER, and Nile Rodgers.

Bio-based materials are now replacing virgin plastic in a huge array of products, from sports balls to fabrics.

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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