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Europe to cut hazardous lead in PVC

VinylPlus says it welcomes the European Commission’s decision to restrict lead in PVC, in line with EU guidelines on hazardous substances (REACH).

The new regulation will come into force at the end of this month and is meant to support the industry’s efforts to substitute lead stabilisers in PVC production. Specifically, it will restrict the import of lead-containing PVC products from third countries where lead is still used as a stabiliser.

Additionally, it will set a way forward to enable the recycling of PVC products containing legacy lead additives in a manner which safeguards human health and the environment.

Brigitte Dero: ‘We are committed to accelerating the
transition to a circular economy.’

According to EU sources, the industry will be given ‘enough time’ to adjust to the new rules, ensuring the continuity of recycling and enabling the industry’s contribution to the EU’s circular economy.

VinylPlus says it has been working ‘proactively’ to substitute lead. Since 2015, the EU PVC industry across all EU-27 Member States has ceased using lead-based stabilisers.

‘PVC is a building block of our modern societies,’ comments the organisation’s managing director  Brigitte Dero. ‘The material plays a significant role in enabling the EU Green Deal, and the industry’s commitment to increase its recycling rate contributes to the EU circular economy.’

Dero argues that the restriction on lead in PVC represents a significant step in enabling the PVC industry to meet ambitious recycling targets of one million tonnes per year of recycled PVC used in new products by 2030 in a safe way for human health and the environment.

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