Dezeen Magazine

Bioplastic record pressing

Evolution Music creates "ecologically sound" bioplastic 12-inch vinyl featuring artists Beatie Wolfe and Michael Stipe

Music and sustainability collective Evolution Music has designed a 12-inch vinyl made of bioplastic using existing record pressing machinery, which features tracks by artists Beatie Wolfe and Michael Stipe.

Hailed as the world's first commercially available bioplastic 12-inch vinyl by Evolution Music, the product is made from specially designed bioplastic instead of traditional, carbon-intensive PVC.

Evolution Music 12-inch vinyl
The 12-inch vinyl is made from bioplastic created by Evolution Music

The bioplastic 12-inch vinyl looks and functions like a standard vinyl, comprised of a black disc illustrated with a central graphic design.

It was manufactured using existing record pressing machinery and production processes.

Record pressing machinery
It is manufactured using existing record pressing machinery

Its A-side features the track Future, If Future by American musician Stipe, while Oh My Heart by British-American artist Wolfe can be played on its B-side.

The bioplastic 12-inch vinyl's creators said that they were prompted to design the material and the product themselves after struggling to find "sustainable solutions for physical media".

"It is a robust, ecologically secure compostable material created specifically to act and sound the same as PVC-derived vinyl," Evolution Music CEO Marc Carey told Dezeen.

Vinyl sticker
Tracks by Michael Stipe and Beatie Wolfe feature on the record

To create the bioplastic, a four-year development process involved identifying a base polymer that acts in the same way as traditional PVC, without producing harmful substances, according to Carey.

After this, the team sourced bio-organic fillers and co-created a solid additive used for plastics called a bio masterbatch.

Evolution Music's aim was "to create a biopolymer that is authentic, truly sustainable and ecologically sound," explained Carey.

"We've never developed traditional plastic vinyl – I guess you should ask the PVC manufacturers why they didn't [create bioplastic vinyl]," he said.

Bioplastic vinyl
Evolution Music aimed to create a "sustainable" product

Five hundred copies of the bioplastic 12-inch vinyl were initially sold when it was released earlier this year, with the proceeds donated to the charity EarthPercent.

Founded by musician Brian Eno, EarthPercent invites artists to pledge a portion of their income to the charity, which is then donated to organisations that tackle climate change.

The release of the bioplastic 12-inch vinyl forms part of a Bandcamp project by EarthPercent that includes over 100 tracks by artists including Hot Chip, Peter Gabriel and Nile Rogers.

"It took three passionate, independent music lovers from the UK to develop this product out of necessity," concluded Carey.

"The fact that 'big' players did not do this in the first place raises interesting questions about the petrol, chemical, oil and plastics industry... just saying!"

Other recent bioplastic designs include a clingfilm alternative made from waste potato peels and a polystyrene substitute created from plastic-eating mealworms.

The images are courtesy of Evolution Music.