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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

No matter what kind of music you listen to, it may be in a sense heavy metal music, and that is our last word in business today.

What is means is that MP3 players contain heavy metals and chemicals, and many CDs come in plastic cases. None of that stuff is considered environmentally friendly. Some people thought that replacing CDs with digital files would be good for the environment, even if it wasn't so good for the music industry, but they turned out to be wrong.

Fans may be buying fewer CDs at record stores but they are apparently buying more blank CDs to burn digital music on and pass it around to their friends. Of course everybody has to own an iPod, which means even more iWaste, in landfills. In an effort to limit the damage, two independent music labels have shifted to all-digital advance copies. They don't hand out free CDs to people like me. Others have done away with plastic jewel cases in favor of recyclable paperboard CD cases. And our eco-award has to go to the tiny label Earthology Recordings. It based on a geothermal and wind-powered farm, and its recycled CD cases are printed with soy ink.

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