Europe – Some 514 913 tonnes of PVC waste was recycled last year under the European PVC industry’s VinylPlus sustainable development programme. Window profiles and related profile products accounted for around 45% of the total.
In all, 508 154 tonnes was registered and certified by Recovinyl, the PVC waste collection and recycling network comprising 177 companies Europe-wide. The target is to recycle 800 000 tonnes per year by 2020. ‘Using PVC in place of other materials reduces costs, improves product performance and makes a positive contribution to sustainable development,’ VinylPlus chairman Josef Ertl told the recent Vinyl Sustainability Forum.
Stephan Sicars, director of the department of environment at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, explained to the same event: ‘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 said to allow US$ 3 trillion in potential resource savings by 2030 amid an emerging US$ 1 trillion global “green” market.’
At the forum, VinylPlus reaffirmed its commitment to addressing the issue of ‘legacy additives’ in recycled PVC in co-operation with regulatory authorities, and it is calling for the proposal of realistic solutions for the continuation and development of PVC recycling, taking into account its resource efficiency benefits.
VinylPlus is also intensifying its discussions with institutions to help alleviate concerns among recyclers and converters over uncertainties in the implementation of the EU’s REACh, CLP and Hazardous Waste regulations.