Jai is looking into environmentally friendly options for CD pressing.
I looked into this for the Glance EP too. It is a fair bit more expensive. Jai mentioned that it’s not fair to pass the extra cost onto the consumer. Fact is, the consumer generally won’t pay more. They rock up to a gig – they expect a $10 EP etc. They don’t really make the connection between the $12.50 CD and the fact it’s environmentally friendly. But that’s not the problem – the problem is you have to wear the extra cost for 500+ CDs, even if you only sell 100.
As much as I hate to admit it, I don’t think that we ended up using recycled stock for the EP – but I honestly can’t recall.
There are two other major issues with CDs too (issues that have environmentally-friendly solutions that is) – the plastic cases and printing. It is much better to go with vegetable-based inks (typically soy-based). I have been in touch with ecoDesign-ecoPrint, but they couldn’t do the CD covers at the time – I can’t remember exactly why. I did get some business cards done through them and they were top notch – I highly recommend them for general printing requirements.
On the CD cases front, hemp-plastic CD cases are available. Alternatively you can get recycled paper digipaks – but they are wildly expensive and there is still a plastic component to them (unless you do a custom pack design). I spoke to Mad CDs about some of these options and they were quite helpful. But again, in the end, it proved too expensive for us.
Ultimately all the options I looked at at the time were too expensive, as an independent band with limited funds, for us to pursue. We’d already spent a couple of grand on recording and producing the EP, adding a significant amount to the cost of pressing just wasn’t an option in our circumstance. Hopefully Jai has better luck.