Vinyl records were invented decades ago, with the first made around 1890, according to 78 RPM. Records were the only means to listen to recorded music until cassette tapes were accessible. 

Early vinyl records had a 78 rpm speed until 1949, when 45 and 33 rpm records were introduced. There are several options for recycling and discarding old vinyl records.

As is common knowledge, a new generation of vinyl consumers is able to purchase newly released and reissued records from Amazon, Urban Outfitters, and Barnes & Noble. 

Despite the fact that physical sales are reviving a digitally dominant relationship with music, the industry has battled over the past several years to resupply the public with a mostly outmoded product. 

Consideration of the ecological impact of that product has been low on the list of priorities for distributors, labels, resellers, and retailers.

They Can Be Used As Art Projects

Given that there are few end markets for vinyl records, plenty of creative people have devised methods to give them new life. The shiny black material produces eye-catching art and jewelry, and keeping the labels adhered to records adds intrigue and color. 

In 2010, we cataloged various applications for obsolete vinyl records in an article. Examples include wall decor and clocks. Years ago, wavy bowls were one of the most popular applications for old records. 

Creating them is as simple as placing an old record on top of a cup and softening it in the oven. One warning should be observed: At 150 degrees Fahrenheit, records become malleable; thus, you must handle your bowl with extreme caution lest you severely burn your fingertips. 

According to historical documents, St. Vincent de Paul in Eugene, Oregon, creates jewelry. Designs such as wolves, homes, and recycling symbols are punched out of some of the hundreds of useless recordings the organization gets every year. 

Re-Play is a product sold through St. Vincent de Paul charity stores. Other ideas for putting old records to use include using tiered plates for holding baked goods, tablecloths, end tables, and even using them as floor coverings. 

One person on Pinterest posted a picture of a record she used as a guest book for a special event. Signed in gold and silver ink and framed, it resembles something a rock star could display on his or her wall.

Is Vinyl Biodegradable?

As we’ve already said, vinyl is made from ethylene, which comes from crude oil, and chlorine, which is found in natural salt. Chlorine accounts for fifty-seven percent of vinyl’s basic component, whereas ethylene accounts for just forty-three percent.

During the manufacture of vinyl, chlorine is chemically bound to it more firmly than salt. As a result, when vinyl is thrown in a landfill, chlorine gas is not emitted.

No, vinyl is not biodegradable. Vinyl doesn’t rust, so when it’s thrown away in a waste facility, it doesn’t let any toxins into the environment. It just occupies space.

Although vinyl is not biodegradable, it is also not environmentally hazardous. Therefore, if you need to dispose of vinyl items, identify a recycling center that accepts vinyl rather than putting it in a landfill, as it takes up valuable space.

How Can They Be Recycled?

The issue with vinyl records is that they are composed of PVC, which is incredibly difficult to recycle. 

PVC is loaded with dangerous heavy metals such as nickel and silver and chlorine gas; therefore, few recyclers are ready to handle it or take the risk of melting and repurposing it. 

Companies that recycle PVC concentrate mostly on outdated building materials, gift cards, and banners (which can also be recycled or reused). 

Most people still cannot identify a firm that recycles records. It is crucial to keep records out of the trash stream because the hazardous chemicals that make vinyl records so difficult to recycle can be released into the soil and air over time. 

You can use records as-is or turn them into new products. Remember that shellac, not vinyl, was used to create records before the 1950s. Female lac bugs in India and Thailand release a chemical called shellac. 

It is scraped from the bark of trees and treated to eliminate traces of wax. 

There are also no good ways to recycle shellac. However, a search on the Internet will show you how to dissolve it and turn it back into a liquid so that it can be used to finish furniture or for other purposes. 

The one portion of a record that is easy to recycle is its sleeve, or the holder, which is normally made of lightweight cardboard and can be placed in your recycling bin along with the rest of your paper. Those coverings are also great for creative projects such as diaries and boxes.


Recycling is one of the most effective strategies to save the environment. With all the industrial waste, pollution, and other dangerous elements produced by human activity, saving the environment is the least we can do.

If you are reading this blog page, it indicates that you are ready to dispose of some vinyl items, such as vinyl records or vinyl siding. 

We have included a list of recycling suggestions that you may find useful. These suggestions are cost-effective and an excellent method to safeguard our environment.

Recycling is becoming more popular, so there could be an open conversation between distribution, labels, and pressing facilities so that everyone can do their part and everyone can work together for the greater good. 

Well-known brands that place large orders that slow down operations should also be responsible for reducing their impact on the environment and getting rid of their dead stock. 

It would mean getting closer to their biggest merchants, who would probably be happy to get rid of old goods to make room for new and interesting ones.

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