Michael Stipe's long-teased solo single Future If Future will be the first commercially available 12" made from a new eco-friendly vinyl format. Instead of being pressed on traditional polyvinyl chloride, it will be made from sustainable bioplastic.
Bioplastic is produced using circular economy principles to repair any harm done to the planet during the process. It also doesn't use single-use plastics, reducing waste.
Vinyl records are made from traditional polyvinyl chloride, a plastic which Greenpeace has labelled the "most environmentally damaging". Evolution Music, the company behind the project, aims to show that bioplastic LPs are a viable alternative to traditional vinyl.
Stipe's song has been a long time coming. The R.E.M. frontman first teased it back in 2018 in support of the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. The other side features a single by singer-songwriter Beatie Wolfe called Oh My Heart.
It's being released on Bandcamp via EarthPercent (a charity co-founded by Brian Eno) and Evolution Music. It's a limited run of 500 copies, with pre-orders opening today. All profits will go towards EarthPercent's five core areas of work: greening music, energy transition, climate justice, legal and policy change, and protecting nature.
Both Stipe and Wolfe's tracks were previously available to download as part of EarthPercent’s Earth Day campaign.
“I’m thrilled to be working with EarthPercent and Evolution Music on this release, imagining positive innovation through action,” Stipe said in a statement. “Simply showing that this type of solution-based project is possible opens pathways to a brighter future.”
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