PMC invests in plant-based vinyl for a more eco-friendly record production future

Peter Thomas, Bill Gautier, Marc Carey
(Image credit: PMC / Evolution Music)

Eco-friendly hi-fi and audio solutions are becoming increasingly popular as concerns about the climate crisis continue to rise apace, and while there's certainly more that brands could be doing collectively, many are now stepping in the right direction. One company looking to play its part in the fight against environmental collapse is PMC, with the British brand recently announcing its backing of the production of a more sustainable vinyl alternative. 

PMC has invested in a brand named Evolution Music Ltd., a fellow UK-based concern which is behind the development of "Evovinyl", a plant-based alternative to the more environmentally harmful PVC material used to make the majority of vinyl records. Disc International estimates that global record production accounts for roughly 30,000 tonnes of PVC every year, and considering that Greenpeace regards it as the most damaging plastic out there, this could be the unforeseen downside of resurging vinyl sales

Thanks to a meeting between PMC's founder Peter Thomas and Marc Carey, CEO of Evolution Music, the two parties are joining forces as part of a push for a more sustainable alternative to polyvinyl records. The new plant-based material that Evolution has developed is made from sugar cane, which has the great benefit of being compostable, more sustainably produced and far less impactful to the environment.

PMC Peter Thomas

(Image credit: PMC / Evolution Music)

As Carey explains, “We needed this project to be as sustainable as possible, from production to disposal... Evolution will be working with an expert team as part of our R&D... to ensure that the people who grow the cane are working in a good environment and not using toxic fertilisers. Testing has shown a 30% energy saving if a plant switches entirely to this product, and it takes 50% less time to press a record, so big energy savings are possible.”

After five years of research and development, Evovinyl is ready to enter the marketplace, with Abbey Road's in-house producer Rob Cass one of the notable figures responsible for assessing its quality. The clever material can be pressed in any colour and naturally dissipates static, preventing the irksome attraction of dust and dirt.

It's a development about which Peter Thomas is deeply excited. He states: "With the product finalised and the major record labels keen to get involved... we are in a good position to make a positive change to the audio and music industries’ impact on the environment.” 

Thomas has also hinted that major record labels and artists are keen to get behind this mini vinyl revolution, and while it's never easy to get new technologies and processes to stick, a more sustainable alternative to traditional vinyl manufacturing can surely be no bad thing.


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Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied law and history at university before working as a freelance journalist covering TV and gaming for numerous platforms both online and in print. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or forcing himself to go long-distance running.