The Problem

41.72 million LPs sold in the USA in 2021

Equates to around 7,500 tonnes of PVC – a massive rise of just over 51% since 2020

In the UK 5.3million LPs were sold in 2021

Using not far off 1000 tonnes of PVC

Global production capacity is around 180million LPs a year

Which with a 180gramme LPs the standard, plus some waste in production, would equate to over 30,000 tonnes of PVC a year

Public Awareness

Public awareness on the extent of ‘the plastic problem’ has exploded in the last 2 years, with David Attenborough’s BBC Blue Planet series being a particular catalyst for this. There is also now mass acceptance and desire to act on the problems of climate change and the ecological emergency, emphasised by the outspoken voice of Greta Thunberg and younger generations.

This public shift in awareness is driving change, with legislation lagging as a dominant influence on the market. Nevertheless, the trend in legislation in the plastics market is increasingly clear, driven by this greater understanding of the vast extent of the problem. This has led to legislation in 87 countries completely banning single use plastic products or instigating a ban on several single use plastic products. Regulations on non-degradable plastics is becoming increasingly stringent at a time when oil extraction costs rise year-on-year.


Once used to make a product, such as in an LP, PVC is very stable and not toxic in that form. However, the manufacturing of that PVC before it gets to the pressing plant, is a very different matter for human and ecological health.

Professor Kyle Devine’s book Decomposed (MIT Press, 2019) highlights that all the major forms of music consumption – LPs, CDs, and streaming – have huge but different environmental impacts. And that globally these impacts are growing, due to the increasing consumption of music as a whole. Kyle is an important member of Evolution Music’s Advisory Board, and states:

Evolution Music has achieved a major step toward a sustainable future for music.”

Professor Kyle Devine

Author of Decomposed