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SK chemicals Stores Music on Chemically Recycled PET

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

  • Global record producer Sonopress has developed the EcoRecord with “circular recycled PET”

  • Replacing PVC, the “circularly recycled” PET is recyclable and reduces waste plastic and greenhouse gas emissions

SK chemicals has co-developed the EcoRecord LP made from recycled materials with global record producer Sonopress, a subsidiary of Germany largest media group, Bertelsmann, specializing in the production of CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs. It owns production plants worldwide.

The EcoRecord LP was developed through close collaboration between the two companies. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) used in traditional record production was with circular recycled PET (CR PET), reducing energy consumption by about 85% through innovative processes that don't use natural gas or steam during record production.

Circular recycling is an exclusive chemical recycling technology of SK chemicals that breaks down discarded plastics through chemical reactions into raw material units and then uses these raw materials to produce recycled plastics. Compared to traditional recycling methods, which simply clean and reuse waste plastics or cut them into flakes and recycle them, this method ensures that the quality and safety of the plastic remain high even after recycling countless numbers of times.

To develop the EcoRecord, Sonopress researched materials and production methods that could replace PVC for the last two years. The new EcoRecord is produced in an injection molding machine that exerts a pressure of up to 300 tonnes, and Sonopress plans to set up a production line for the EcoRecord.

Image courtesy of SK chemicals.

SK chemicals is also considering signing a business agreement with local distributors and Sonopress to ensure a stable supply of circular recycled materials.

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the market size of traditional records like CDs and long-playing (LP) records in 2022 was $4.6 billion, accounting for 17.5% of the total market, including streaming. While sales of CDs are declining, LP record sales have increased by 17.1%, showing consistent growth.

Sven Deutschmann, the CEO of Sonopress, stated, "With the collaboration with SK chemicals, we were able to decide on developing 12-inch LP records and investing in the production line," adding, "We plan to expand in accordance with the global music market demand."

Kim Eung-soo, head of the Green Materials Business Division at SK chemicals, said, "Through the acquisition of the [Shantou, China chemical recycling plant of] Shuye [Environmental Technologies], we have secured a stable supply chain for 50,000 tonnes of PET [feedstocks]," adding, "Based on this, SK chemicals plans to expand the range of recyclable products into various industrial materials."

Meanwhile, SK chemicals signed an agreement last September with the waste recycling company Shanghai Yuekun to secure a stable source of waste plastic for future stable production and supply of circular recycled materials, anticipating an early market entry for recycled materials.


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