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Encouraging Recycling of PVC in 2015

12 May 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970
 

VinylPlus, the European PVC industry sustainable development programme, recycled 514,913 tonnes of PVC within its framework last year.

The 2015 results were presented at the fourth Vinyl Sustainability Forum 2016 in Vienna, Austria where the industry shared its major successes, notably the replacement of lead based stabilisers in the EU-28 market.

Taking the theme of Smart Vinyl for our Cities, the Forum attracted more than 130 interested parties from academia, government bodies, UN, European Commission, specifiers, designers, architects and all sectors of the PVC industry. It featured respected speakers from across Europe, presentations and panel discussions centred on the role of PVC in meeting the future needs of people living and working in urban environments and how it could make a significant contribution to many aspects of the built environment.

 

Low carbon transition

Welcoming delegates, VinylPlus Chairman, Josef Ertl, made clear the scale of what the industry and countries faced.

“European cities are forerunners in the transition towards a low carbon and resource-efficient economy. 72% of the EU population lives in urban areas, using 70% of our energy.”

He went on to state that to assure quality of life, future cities would need healthy and energy efficient buildings, reliable water distribution and sewage systems, as well as affordable healthcare. “Using PVC in place of other materials reduces costs, improves product performance and makes a positive contribution to sustainable development,” Ertl argued.

Explaining the main outcomes of the Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030) and the Paris Climate Summit (COP21), Stephan Sicars, Director Department of Environment, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) observed: “The shift of emphasis to designing products and processes for sustainability offers the plastics and PVC industry many opportunities to capitalise on innovation as well as consumer demands for better environmental performance and smaller environmental footprint of products.” These trends are predicted to allow US$3 trillion in potential resource savings by 2030 amid an emerging US$1 trillion global ‘green’ market.

“A circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. The PVC production chain is making progress globally by reducing its environmental impact in areas such as chlor-alkaline production, energy and mercury use and VCM production. In addition, there are excellent developments in different regions and in Europe, especially.”

 

Figures achieved

VinylPlus General Manager, Brigitte Dero, was able to inform delegates about how VinylPlus had recycled 514,913 tonnes of PVC waste – an upward recycling trend of which window profiles and related profile products accounted for approximately 45%.

The greatest volumes – 508,154 tonnes – were registered and certified by Recovinyl, the PVC waste collection and recycling network comprising 177 companies operating in Europe. The ambitious target is to recycle 800,000 tonnes per year by 2020.

 

Further developments

VinylPlus reaffirmed its commitment to addressing the issue of ‘legacy additives’ in recycled PVC in cooperation with regulatory authorities and is calling to propose ‘realistic’ answers for the continuation and development of PVC recycling, taking into account its resource efficiency benefits.

The body is also intensifying its discussions with institutions in what it states is a ‘committed effort’ to help find solutions amid continuing concern from recyclers and converters over uncertainties in the implementation of relevant EU regulations, e.g. REACH, CLP and hazardous waste.

Picture: Held in Vienna, the VinylPlus conference heard recycling figures for PVC within its programme were almost 515,000 tonnes last year

 

 

Article written by Robin Snow | Published 12 May 2016

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