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New high score for PVC recyclers in Europe

SPAIN – Almost 640 000 tonnes of PVC was recycled via Europe’s VinylPlus scheme in 2017. Figures reported at the 6th VinylPlus Sustainability Forum 2018 in Madrid, show significant growth in France and Italy while recycling remained stable throughout Germany.

VinylPlus members recycled a total of 639 648 tonnes worth of material last year, up from the 568 696 tonnes in 2016. The 2017 result represents almost 80% of the 2020 target.

Window of opportunity

Window profiles and related products accounted for the majority of the recycled PVC, followed by flexible PVC and films, pipes and fittings, and cables. About 300 000 tonnes of window profiles and related building products were recycled in 2017, with about 40% recycled in Germany, 30% in the UK and 30% in the rest of the EU-28, according to the European PVC Window Profile and Related Building Products Association.

‘Continuous increase’

There was a ‘moderate but continuous increase’ in volumes in nearly all European countries last year, said VinylPlus general manager Brigitte Dero. She told delegates that the biggest recycling markets registered different trends: volumes increased in France and Italy; the market remained stable in Germany and recyclers reported a shortage of post-consumer window profiles for recycling in the UK.

Moving forward

‘We are committed to contributing to the recycling and reuse of 50% of plastics waste by 2040, as well as 70% of plastic packaging,’ said VinylPlus chairman Josef Ertl in the group’s newly released 2017 progress report.

EU representative Christophe Yvetot Unido added: ‘I am happy to see that VinylPlus is already reporting and classifying its contribution to the sector, having identified five challenges and to which goals they relate. I know how difficult it is to bring a whole value chain together to achieve more sustainability with clear objectives and targets, and VinylPlus should continue the ambition, and the effort.’ Unido called the group a ‘good role model’ in the international recycling arena.

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