In response to increasing pressure, including the decision by Sears Holdings Corp. (Hoffman Estates, IL) to reduce and ultimately phase out the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in packaging and products, the Vinyl Institute (VI; Arlington, VA) announced on Dec. 13 that it would launch what it calls an aggressive information campaign for retailers and packagers aimed at providing facts about PVCs safety and benefits. Sears, which includes the Kmart chain, is the fourth largest U.S. retailer (see e-Weekly Dec. 14 for an initial report).
In a statement, Tim Burns, VI president, said the PVC industry needs to do a better job of pointing out the materials safety and energy benefits, including the fact that more than 50% of the end resin is derived from salt, compared to the oil and gas used to create other plastics. The superior safety, performance, practicality, and convenience of products made with PVC have been proven time after time and in study after study, Burns said in a release. That is why they are so popular with consumers across the country and throughout the world. VIs new information campaign will be aimed at the packaging and retail sectors and will start in January. PVC has traditionally faced resistance from many environmental groups from manufacturing through end-of-life due to concerns over chlorine and toxins that can be released if its burned. More recently, however, greater concern has grown out of concern over certain additives used in PVC, including phthalates and heavy metals.[email protected]