Every year the compact disc industry manufacturers nearly 30-Billion discs; according to the CD Recycling Center of America. That massive number in itself is mind blowing, but when combined with the number of old or unwanted discs being tossed in the trash every year it becomes simply appalling. To put that number in perspective let’s take a look at what it takes, environmentally speaking, to manufacture compact discs. It is said that the manufacturing of 30 compact discs will use 300 cubic feet of natural gas, 24 gallons of water, and 2 cups of crude oil; as stated in an e-mail sent by Play MPE. When each one of those discs later becomes damaged or obsolete, if they are thrown away in a landfill professionals estimate that it could take 1 million years or more for the compact disc to decompose entirely. That right there is a frightening reality kick.
Despite the disturbing facts and figures there are many people within and connected to the music industry who are working hard to find and promote solutions – including solutions that we as individual pop music fans can take part.
The easiest thing fans can do is make a point to buy digital downloads of albums and singles, instead of buying a compact disc version. Of course a move in this direction has already been underway over the past few years, further encouraged by the popularity of the iPod and other similar products. So keep it up pop music fans, and please remember to always keep it legal and pay for your music downloads – fair is fair.
Even the most digital-obsessed pop music fan has a few compact discs lying around somewhere – some that receive spins and others that collect dust. When the time comes to part with your old or damaged compact discs don’t toss them in the trash – instead, consider your recycling options. If you have a flair for the creative side of life, then perhaps getting crafty with your compact discs might be up your alley. It’s limitless what you can do with old compact discs if you take the time to channel your inner Martha Stewart. However if do-it-yourself crafts aren’t your thing then recycling your old compact discs is as easy as disassembling the cases, sorting, packing them in a box, and dropping in them in the mail to a compact disc recycling center. Your old compact discs can then be recycled into plastic than in turn could be utilized by the construction or automotive industries. To learn more about how to recycle your compact discs and where to send them, check out the CD Recycling Center of America (www.cdrecyclingcenter.org) or GreenDisk (www.greendisk.com).
Another company helping pop music go green is Play MPE (www.plaympe.com) which works with record labels and radio stations to distribute and deliver music in an environmentally friendly way.