PVCU recycling figures rise

The collection and recycling of waste PVCU throughout Europe, including the UK, reached a new high of 639,648 tonnes in 2017, according to latest industry figures.

Recovinyl, the PVCU industry’s recycling scheme, was the largest contributor to this total and registered a total of 633,127 tonnes of recycled PVCU waste in 2017. While this represented a 13% increase from 2016 with increased volumes recorded in France and Italy, recyclers reported a shortage of post-consumer window profiles for recycling in the UK.

Recovinyl’s target is to stimulate and certify the recycling of 800,000 tonnes of PVCU waste by 2020 as one of the challenges set in the VinylPlus Voluntary Commitment. VinylPlus has also recently committed to recycle and certify the use of at least 900,000 tonnes of PVCU per year into new products by 2025. VinylPlus has also committed to recycling a minimum of one million tonnes per year by 2030.

Richard McKinlay, head of circular economy at Axion, Recovinyl’s regional representative for the UK, said: “Recovinyl continues to deliver impressive sustainable achievements in recycling a valuable material that was once consigned to landfill. With a recycling network across the UK, it’s a convenient way to save you money on landfill disposal, it protects the environment and it’s the right thing to do. Whether you are a fabricator or an installer, you could save money by recycling your waste PVCU and Recovinyl can help you to do this. Look on the Recovinyl website to find your local recycler.”

Veka Recycling was one of the first Recovinyl recyclers in the UK, opening its Kent facility in 2007.

Simon Scholes, commercial director at Veka Recycling said the “increasing professionalism” of the PVCU recycling industry is contributing to the material’s sustainability and its value as a waste resource that can be recycled.

“There is greater awareness in the window industry that PVCU can be recycled and we welcome the fact that profile manufacturers recognise this and are responding by recycling more,” he said. “Investment is making the PVCU recycling industry more professional and is helping to bring sustainability to the industry as a whole.”