Switching from CDs, cassette tapes, and vinyl to streaming has cut down on the use of plastics for distributing music, but the change hasn’t really helped the planet. In a study from the University of Glasgow, digital music has an even greater impact on the environment, leading to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The research showed that greenhouse gas equivalents in 2016 were well above where they were in 1977, when US sales of vinyl records peaked, or even in the year 2000 when CDs were king. According to University of Oslo professor Dr. Kyle Devine, who lead the team, “Storing and processing music online uses a tremendous amount of resources and energy—which has a high impact on the environment.”
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