Go Green, K-Pop

South Korea is calling on the K-pop industry to address its environmental impact, focusing on the massive number of physical albums purchased by fans. The Korea Times reports that around 100 million physical albums are sold annually, contributing significantly to environmental concerns.

CDs are predominantly made of 90% polycarbonate, making them challenging to recycle, and their plastic cases add to the carbon footprint. In 2022, South Korea’s main manufacturers sold over 390 metric tons of plastic packaging, a stark contrast to the country’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

In response, the Korean Ministry of Environment is launching a campaign to highlight the excessive use of plastic in the music industry. Collaborating with the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, they plan to hold consulting sessions with the Record Label Industry Association of Korea (RLIAK) to address the issue. However, the absence of regulations on plastic use in the industry might limit the campaign’s effectiveness.

K-pop fans, increasingly aware of climate change, may be the key to driving change. The NGO Kpop4Planet encourages fans to make donations and sign petitions, using their social media influence to push the music industry towards greener practices.

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