Toni Villen

Bye Bye Plastic and Evolution Music Create First LP Made From Bacteria

Nov 22, 2022

Alexander Dias

3 min read

Vinyl sales have been on a steady incline for 15 years, fueled mainly by a thirst for the nostalgia of physical media. Sales are nowhere near their 1970s peak of 530 million units per year. Yet, in 2021, vinyl consumption eclipsed CDs for the first time since 1986 with 17 million sales. As seductive as the pure analog sounds from those black plastic discs may be, they do irreparable damage to the environment. The process used to produce PVC vinyl is responsible for 12 times the greenhouse gas emissions of other physical media.

Evolution Music has developed an innovative solution that draws from the natural world. In partnership with Bye Bye Plastic, they've created the first record made entirely from bacteria. Classed as a PHA, a group of sustainable materials made from microorganisms, the plastic-free innovation is compostable and biodegradable in any environment, even the ocean. If a PHA record eventually enters the sea, it can provide nutrients for living organisms.

It's also a fully sustainable and scaleable solution for traditional pressing plants. The process uses the existing vinyl manufacturing infrastructure and is energy efficient. Evolution Music observed a 10-15% savings in energy costs in manufacturing the product.

The first release on the groundbreaking biopolymer record will be a physical pressing of #PlasticFreeParty, the album curated by Parisian duo Chambord for BLOND: ISH-led label Abracadabra.

The album's 14 artists—including Shiba San, BLOND:ISH, Millad, Luzi Tudor, and Urmet K—have all committed to Bye Bye Plastic's Eco-Rider, promising to request that the venues they perform in have a plastic-free DJ booth.

If you ask audiophiles why they chase vinyl, it's always the robust and warm sound quality. There's nothing like setting the needle down on a record and hearing that faint crackle. It's taken Evolution Music four years to fine-tune the sonics to ensure top-drawer audio quality.

"Creating a robust non-toxic alternative to PVC is one thing. Getting the material to press and sound like traditional vinyl is another," says Marc Carey, CEO of Evolution Music. "We are seeing incremental improvements in the sound quality. The Evo-Vinyl product still has some surface noise in the lead, but it is barely audible. We hope to achieve the same great sound with this next bio compound."

Bye Bye Plastic co-founder Camille Guitteau explained in a press release that a green wave is set to take over the dance music industry. "This is a HUGE milestone, not just for us as a collective, but for the entire vinyl industry. We're helping our industry, and the planet evolve in the right direction."

Bye Bye Plastic and Evolution Music are leading the way to a more sustainable future and protecting the most important dancefloor we have, the planet.

Pre-order the very limited edition version on Bandcamp. All proceeds from the release will support Bye Bye Plastic Foundation.

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