Robert von Bahr is known for producing some of the world’s best classical music, but he’s just as passionate about protecting the earth.
This month, von Bahr, who heads the independent Swedish record label BIS, will release a Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) in an 'ecopak', a totally recyclable sleeve made of certified cardboard using soy ink, eco-friendly glue and water-based varnish.
His company will package all of its recordings in the new sleeve once it uses up old inventory, he promises.
“The use of plastic is doing enormous harm to the environment,” says von Bahr. “No one can walk away from the pictures of whales, fish and turtles full of plastic without feeling horror.”
The sleeve costs about 20 percent more to make than a standard plastic CD jewel box but weighs a third less, reducing the carbon emissions associated with transport costs. Von Bahr is taking the loss.
“If this helps the recording business move away from plastic packaging in favour of more ecological alternatives, I will be happy,” says the veteran record industry executive. "I have rarely been so inspired by anything. Everything about this is right - the need, the timing and the solution".
BIS’ first ecopak will house a SACD of 'Nomaden', a work by Dutch composer Joel Bons that was awarded the 2019 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.