EU – The European PVC industry has outlined a new set of targets for sustainable development to 2020 and has called for the support of policy-makers in stimulating recycling within Europe.
The VinylPlus programme is built around five commitments aimed at: achieving a quantum leap in PVC recycling rates and the development of innovative recycling technologies; addressing concerns about organo-chlorine emissions; ensuring the sustainable use of additives; enhancing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy and raw materials in PVC production; and promoting sustainability throughout the whole PVC value chain.
The new initiative builds on the success of the Vinyl 2010 ten-year voluntary commitment to enhance the sustainable production and use of PVC. According to a news release, ‘Vinyl 2010 is widely regarded as a leading example of industry self-regulation working in practice and delivering concrete results’. Among its most significant achievements has been the establishment of an infrastructure for the annual collection and recycling of over 250 000 tonnes of PVC which had been dismissed by many prior to the year 2000 as an ‘unrecyclable’ material destined for landfill.
Concrete targets in the VinylPlus commitment include the recycling of 800 000 tonnes of PVC per year by 2020 – of which 100 000 tonnes should be treated by innovative technologies to tackle applications that have posed a challenge for recycling until now. The industry is also planning to introduce a new VinylPlus certification and labelling scheme designed to help users to identify and prioritise sustainably-produced PVC while also creating value for VinylPlus participants.