Sonospress is unveiling a new form of vinyl LP made from recycled plastic to drastically reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing vinyl. Here’s the latest.
Sonospress says the new LP is being launched in collaboration with Warner Music and uses polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as its base material. Traditional vinyl LPs are manufactured using polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which uses massive amounts of chlorine. PVC production accounts for 40% of use in the United States and releases chlorine—a building block of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
Sonospress says pressing the new vinyl LP made from PET plastic requires neither natural gas nor steam and a test operation saw an energy savings of up to 85% compared to the traditional process. The first production line of EcoRecord vinyls has gone into operation today at its plant in Gütersloh, Germany following a series of tests last year.
“The tests were so encouraging that we gave the green light for extensive investment in the construction of a pilot line in the twelve-inch LP format,” adds Sven Deutschmann, Managing Director of Sonospress. “Life cycle analyses by independent third-party labs proved that we can significantly reduce emissions of climate-changing CO2 with our new process.”
“We’ve used the past weeks to check every production detail a hundred times over, comprehensively refine all production parameters, and optimize the quality of the manufactured products so that we can now move into regular production with complete confidence.”
“From the beginning of development, we set out with the ambition that the quality of the EcoRecord should match that of a conventionally produced vinyl LP in terms of sound quality. It should not only convince the experts, but above all offer the music lover an excellent feel and a great listening experience.”
The EcoRecord is produced and assembled by a new injection molding machine with a contact pressure of up to 300 tons. Alongside other necessary special tools and supplementary equipment also developed by Sonospress, the production line was completed in just a few months. It harnesses the same injection molding process that has been used for decades to create LaserDiscs, CDs, DVDs, and other digital storage media.
Sonospress says the EcoRecord line was launched as the global vinyl market continues to surge. A recent IFPI reported vinyl revenues increased 17.2% in 2022—marking a third year of consecutive double-digit growth for the format.
“We’re pleased to work closely with Sonospress in the development of this sustainable vinyl format,” adds Salvatore Monteleone, Executive Vice President Global Operations at Warner Music. “It’s one of several green innovation initiatives we’re developing with partners to help reduce our industry’s environmental impact. Our goal with this project is to provide fans with the high-quality sound of vinyl, while minimizing carbon emissions in production and eliminating the use of PVC.”