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How Your Record Collection Is Damaging The Environment

26 July 2018 | 1:37 pm | Daniel CribbJessica Dale

“When millions of us change our behaviour, we make a huge difference in protecting the natural world."

There’s no denying the devastating impact single-use plastic bags are having on the environment, but there’s another debate that’s been gaining traction among the music industry as of late that could change the way the vinyl business operates.

Vinyl addiction is real, and while you could argue for days about the plastic they’re pressed on, there’s another element to the industry you might have overlooked: the plastic shrink-wrap they come in.

Sure, it protects your precious vinyl – especially those exclusives you can only get overseas – but the process of shrink-wrapping is adding to a larger problem.

As artists like Wolf Alice and James Bay join the fight overseas, Green Music Australia – who headed the Splendour Beach Clean last weekend - is pushing for change at home.

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"So many of things we do which damage the environment are just habits that we can change with a bit of thought and planning,” Green Music Australia Executive Director Tim Hollo told The Music.

Hollo suggested artists and labels look at paper bands or small stickers instead.

“We saw a big reduction in the environmental impact of recorded music when people started moving to downloads, but an increase again when the industry, and habits, moved people towards streaming instead.

“When millions of us change our behaviour, we make a huge difference in protecting the natural world that we're all part of."

It’s one thing for artists, labels and manufactures to kill off shrink-wrapping, but another for consumers to accept the change.

As BBC reports, Patrick Ryder, manager of Manchester-based Piccadilly Records, said people would be put off buying a record if the shrink-wrap had a tear in it.

"It will probably get sold but someone might ask to swap it for one that has its shrink-wrap intact," he said.

"I understand why labels use shrink wrap for special editions or if there is a download code inside - without the shrink wrap they will fall out.

"But the solution to that is putting a sticker on the record."