Tuesday, 5 August 2008
I have an mp3 player somewhere. Richard bought it for me a few years ago although I’m not sure whether it was a Christmas present, birthday present or something he’d bought to keep me entertained during a spell in hospital. Either way, I didn’t use it as much as I first thought I would and right now I haven’t a clue where it is.
I just couldn’t get on with it. There was something about having music stored in a tiny gadget that just didn’t feel right to me. I like to be able to look at the designs of CD covers, read the blurbs that are sometimes in the fold-out paper bit that goes in the plastic case and check the play list. I also like the designs on the actual CDs and the fact that I have something real in my hands.
I know that mp3s are better for the environment - less plastic production blah blah, but try as I might, I just can’t like them let alone love them. In fact, I positively loathe them. I’ve downloaded a few to my laptop but I’ve very rarely listened to them, except for those that I burned onto a CD and have in the car, which is kind of evading the point.
Did you know that a CD actually contains gold? Only a tiny trace but the main problem is the amount of aluminium, polycarbonate (made from crude oil) and acrylic lacquer - yet another form of plastic - that they contain. Then there are the chemical dyes used in the printing. None of this is doing our planet any good whatsoever and yet here I am, still clutching to my CDs instead of embracing mp3s.
Then there’s the packaging. More plastic!
CDs were designed to be virtually unbreakable so you can imagine how long they’re going to be around, either at the landfill or wherever else people decide to chuck ‘em. Hundreds, if not thousands of years! And considering
When you consider that several billion music CDs are sold every year, it’s anybody’s guess how many of them are going to end up as waste. And that’s without thinking about all the DVDs, computer games and CDs used to store photos and stuff on. Piled up, I bet they’d make quite a mountain.
Knowing what to do with used CDs and the likes isn’t easy because general recycling centres don’t take them, at least not as separate waste. Of course, it’s always better to donate them to a charity shop, sell them on eBay, give them to friends, put them on Freecycle or sell them at a care boot sale but what if they’d beyond use?
Luckily there’s a company called The Laundry that recycles them. All you have to do is post them off to them and they’ll strip out the aluminium and polycarbonates for use in the manufacturing of other, new components. I shall save my ‘beyond use’ CDs and DVDs up for them in the future - they’re not exactly heavy after all so postage shouldn’t really be a reason to dump them instead.
But will I ever be converted to mp3s? Time will tell…