PVC recycling reaches new high

The recycling of PVC has reached a new high with 568,696 tonnes recycled in 2016 through the framework of VinylPlus, the European PVC industry sustainable development programme.

The latest results were announced at PVC 2017 by Brigitte Dero, VinylPlus general manager, who opened the conference in Brighton in April.

The triennial event is the world’s largest PVC forum providing information, education, debate and discussion on key topics for the industry.

Speaking on the first day, Brigitte highlighted how the achievements of the VinylPlus Voluntary Commitment to sustainable development over the past two decades had helped to turn PVC from ‘the black sheep in the plastic family to a pioneer’ and a material of choice.

“VinylPlus is now recognised by external stakeholders and is considered by many as a frontrunner for the circular economy,” Brigitte said. “We reached this position by achieving significant and concrete results and have consistently demonstrated our commitment through action.”

A cumulative total of more than 3.5 million tonnes of PVC has been recycled since 2000 thanks to the efforts of VinylPlus. The largest volumes are from window profiles, followed by cables and flexible applications, pipes and fittings. The target is to recycle 800,000 tonnes per year by 2020.

VinylPlus places ‘paramount importance’ on the safety and quality of recycled PVC, which is supported by traceability and certification schemes for recyclates.

Work is underway to include schemes like EuCertPlast as standard criteria for secondary raw materials. This would stimulate demand and help to prevent the loss of these valuable materials from a circular economy.

“Having recycled nearly 600,000 tonnes of PVC last year, we have demonstrated through the VinylPlus Voluntary Commitment that we can divert from landfill significant volumes of PVC waste, thereby contributing to resource efficiency,” Brigitte said.


Brigitte Dero, VinylPlus general manager.