Earth2tech has a fascinating overview of the environmental impact of CDs and DVDs, millions of which are discarded every year. From the rubbish that goes into the manufacture of both the discs and their cases, to the greenhouse gases involved in their production and distribution and more. Best of all, there’s a good workaround for all of this–the internet. Get all the detail here.
“The chemical used in jewel cases, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), is especially damaging to the environment. It often contains a variety of additives, including lead, making it is the least recyclable, and least recycled, of the major plastics. The EPA estimates that less than one percent of post-consumer PVC is recovered or reprocessed. That means the remaining 99% either ends up in landfills or is incinerated, a process that releases damaging dioxins into the air.”