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PMC Invests in Evovinyl

Eco-friendly, plant-based alternative to PVC in the production of vinyl records

At left, Marc Carey, Evolution Music, with investor Peter Thomas, PMC.

Biggleswade, UK (March 6, 2024)—UK loudspeaker manufacturer PMC has invested in Evolution Music Ltd., the UK-based company spearheading the development of Evovinyl, a plant-based alternative to the environmentally damaging PVC that is currently used to press vinyl records. The investment will assist in the quest to move the music industry toward a more sustainable future.

Peter Thomas, PMC founder and chairman, and a keen environmentalist, was introduced to Marc Carey, CEO of Evolution Music, by a mutual friend and record producer, Bill Gautier (Paul McCartney, The Cure, Fleet Foxes). 

“I met with Bill and Marc at Evolution Music’s office, where we talked about our shared passions for music, vinyl and the environment,” Thomas notes. “Our conversation made me realize that while we are making products to replay music, and we love the sound and experience of vinyl, the creation of millions of records each year is very bad for the environment. Marc’s quest is a worthy one, of which I was keen to be a part.”

Global production of records accounts for an estimated 30,000 tons of PVC per year (source: Disc International), and while that is a small percentage of the 40 million tons of PVC produced each year, every sector has to do its bit to help reduce the damaging effects of this plastic.)

PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, has been described as the “most environmentally damaging plastic” (Greenpeace) due to its production, use and disposal, all of which result in the release of toxic chlorine-based chemicals that build up in the water, air and food chain.

“Our main driver is a genuine concern for the environment. It is not greenwashing, but a real desire to try and do something to remove PVC from our industry,” Thomas says. “We’re also going to be looking at this technology to see if we can use it to replace the plastic parts in PMC loudspeakers.

The new material that has been developed is manufactured from sugar cane. It is a compostable product with no environmental impact upon disposal and has a sustainable ethos throughout the production process.

Marc Carey explains: “We needed this project to be as sustainable as possible, from production to disposal, and so the life-cycle analysis is very important to us. Evolution will be working with an expert team as part of our R&D to complete a full LCA, to ensure that the people who grow the cane are working in a good environment and not using toxic fertilisers.

“It also potentially enables the record presses to run at a lower temperature than is required for PVC,” he adds. “Testing to date has shown a 30 percent energy saving if a plant switches entirely to this product. And it takes 50 percent less time to press a record, so big energy savings are possible.”

After five years’ R&D, the Evovinyl product is ready to enter the market. The sound quality has been assessed by industry professionals such as Rob Cass, in-house producer at Abbey Road Studios, and PMC’s Thomas, who confirms that its performance is indistinguishable from traditional vinyl. Like existing vinyl, it can be pressed in any color in addition to black, and the new material naturally dissipates static, preventing the attraction of dust.