Shift to Digital Sends More CDs to the Trash

Americans throw away millions of CDs every year, the Environmental Protection Agency says. Who needs the clutter when you can organize your music files in a neat database on your computer?

Even though consumers made the shift long ago to downloadable music files, recording powerhouses like Sony, Warner Music Group) and EMI still rely heavily on CD sales. They’re incented to keep pumping out plastic instead of embracing the green technology their customers prefer.

There isn’t a lot of data about the music industry’s carbon footprint. What’s available is incomplete and fairly self-serving.

A British nonprofit called Julia’s Bicycle contends that CDs are responsible for 26% of the greenhouse gases created by the U.K. music industry.

But those numbers are somewhat misleading. The group attributes the largest portion of greenhouse gas emissions to something beyond the industry’s control: audience travel to live shows. Half of the gases music companies directly produce come from making and shipping CDs. Touring generates the other half, the group says.

Used CDs and old credit cards are two items I hate throwing in the trash. Is there anyway to recycle them?

NP NowPublic

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Mrs Green said,

    I hear you on the credit cards issue. I covered this as one of our ‘dustbin demons’ last August. Although there appears to be no way (yet) to recycle them we came up with a few reuses:

    If you find anything out about recycling; I’ll look forward to updating the article!

    Over here, we have a great company that takes old cds and recycles them into working clocks:

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