Vinyl 2010 (Brussels), the European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) industry’s recycling coordinator, says that 83,000 tonnes of vinyl were collected and recycled last year, which represents more than double the figures of the previous year (38,793 tonnes). In its just-released progress study, the initiative says that not only is progress being made toward its targets set in 2000 but that industry self-regulation is indeed working.
Successful self-regulation has two key elements: transparency and commitment from the whole industry, says Jean-Pierre De Grève, Vinyl 2010 secretary general. Besides increases of PVC waste recycled in a variety of sectors including pipes, window profiles, and coated fabrics, last year saw complete phase-out of lead-based stabilizers used in processing potable water pipes in most of the original 15 EU member countries. Cadmium stabilizers were phased out in these countries in 2001. Calcium-based substitutes are being used in place of both lead and cadmium. De Grève says that a commitment by all 25 member states of the EU to eliminate lead stabilizers will be carried out by the latest in 2015.
Recovinyl, one pan-European project funded by Vinyl 2010 and helping to coordinate PVC collection and recycling, has begun a program urging major retailers, wholesalers and distributors, especially in the construction and DIY sectors, to stock products containing recycled PVC material. Recovinyl has been particularly successful in the U.K. In 2006, over 20,000 tonnes of post-use PVC products – mostly PVC-U profile – were recycled, more than double the original target. The 2007 figure is expected to be even greater.
Recovinyl is currently discussing marketing opportunities and product development options with a number of construction sector retailers and small builders’ suppliers who are keen to stock products containing PVC recyclate.[email protected]