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News April 24, 2024

Green Music Australia Forms Industry ‘Alliance’ For Eco-Friendly Vinyl Solutions (EXCLUSIVE)

Green Music Australia Forms Industry ‘Alliance’ For Eco-Friendly Vinyl Solutions (EXCLUSIVE)

Love vinyl, hate hurting the environment. Green Music Australia is working on it.

The organisation unites key players across the recorded music ecosystem for the Music Product Stewardship Alliance, a campaign with a mission to find a green solution for wax, CDs and other soundcarriers. 

As environmentalists recognise Earth Week, the annual platform for amplifying, inspiring and taking action worldwide on a range of issues, from sustainability, climate change and more, The Music Network can exclusively reveal details of the Australian music Alliance.

Supported by the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority and the City of Sydney, the initiative will see Green Music Australia conduct research and facilitate roundtable discussions with industry leaders, from which the collective issues will be identified and, in time, problems solved.

Members of the alliance include ABC Music, AIR, Artist First, GizzVerse, Holiday Records, Impressed Records, In Hearts Wake, JB Hifi, Mushroom Group, Remote Control Records, PIAS / Inertia, Program Records, Rocket Distribution, Sony Music Entertainment, Suitcase Records, The Orchard, UNIFIED Music Group, Universal Music Australia, Warner Music Australia, and Zenith Records.

According to reps, the first roundtable took place earlier in the month with 33 participants.

Green Music Australia exists to organise, facilitate and inspire musicians and the broader industry to make changes to improve environmental performance, and boasts members and supporters from across the music space, including artists and managers, agents, promoters, venue and festival managers, plus environmental consultants and more.

Image of a vinyl record on a record player

The theme for Earth Day, April 22, the cornerstone of the global Earth Week initiative, was “Planet vs. Plastics,” and a call to advocate for widespread awareness on the health risk of plastics, rapidly phase out all single use plastics, and more.

As vinyl continues to grow in popularity, and pressing plants struggle to keep up with demand for wax, the topic is “even more timely,” say reps for Green Music Australia, “and we anticipate the conversation around the environmental impact of music products to only grow into the future.”

“We all love visiting our local record store and purchasing a copy of our favourite album. But many of us don’t realise how polluting some of the materials in manufacturing and distributing music products can be,” comments Berish Bilander, CEO of Green Music Australia.

“Environmentally friendly options exist, and there’s a growing appetite from the sector and artists to make the switch. With vinyl sales quadrupling in Australia over the last ten years, it is more important than ever that we collaborate on shared solutions.”

U.S. pop phenomenon Billie Eilish has lent her voice to addressing the environmental impact of vinyl – and taken heat for her comments.

The “Bad Guy” singer and her mum, Support + Feed founder Maggie Baird, spoke to Billboard on their wish to see more sustainable practices in the music business, and pointed the finger at vinyl variants.

“We live in this day and age where, for some reason, it’s very important to some artists to make all sorts of different vinyl and packaging … which ups the sales and ups the numbers and gets them more money,” Eilish told Billboard in an interview published last month. “I can’t even express to you how wasteful it is.”

Eilish stuck by her guns and announced her next album, Hit Me Hard and Soft, due out May 17, was her most eco-friendly release yet.

Vinyl is a big business. According to trade data published by ARIA, vinyl albums generated more than $42 million in revenue, up 14% from the year-before period.

Remarkably, TMN reported at the time, the market for vinyl albums is worth more than twice that of CD albums which, for decades, was the king of the jungle that is the record industry.

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