Europe Leads Successful PVC Recycling Campaign

Report finds increase in recycling of polyvinyl chloride over the last decade.

August 23, 2012
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations Plastics

According to a new report by GBI Research, global demand for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has increased steadily in the last decade. The report adds that increased demand for energy efficiency will drive demand.

The report, "Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Global Market to 2020 – Growth From Asia-Pacific Construction, Packaging and Electrical Sectors Continues to Drive Demand," also finds that demand for PVC is growing fastest in Asia, which accounts for more than 65 percent of global demand, with China being the major consumer.

The report adds that demand in developed countries such as Japan has largely stabilized, but the growing economies and large populations of developing countries such as India and China create significant PVC consumption potential. Because of this, demand from Asia-Pacific will drive the PVC market in the future, and it is consequently vital to engage this region in Europe’s sustainability efforts to enhance energy efficiency and promote industrial recycling.

Global PVC demand stood at 22.181 million tons in 2000, increasing to 32.3 million tons in 2011. Global demand is expected to grow at an annual rate of 4.9 percent per year between 2011 and 2020, to reach 49.5 million tons in 2020.

The construction, packaging and electrical sectors were the leading end-use segments for PVC in 2011, with slightly less than 18 million tons, 3.66 million tons and 2.721 million tons of demand, respectively, accounting for around 75 percent of global PVC demand altogether. The automotive, agriculture, footwear and other end-use sectors accounted for the remainder of global end-use demand.

The report provides detailed analysis and forecasts of the major economic and market trends affecting global PVC demand. It also provides analysis and description of the major drivers and restraints affecting PVC demand in each region. Global PVC demand is assessed in terms of end-user segments, prices and the competitive landscape, at both the regional and national level.

For the recycling of PVC, the EU says the launch of the Vinyl 2010 through the European Union has been a significant help. The goal of the program is to secure voluntary commitments by countries to enhance the sustainable production and use of PVC.

According to Vinyl 2010, in 2010, around 260,842 tons of post-consumer PVC scrap were recycled, exceeding the 10-year target of 200,000 tons. Based on this level, the EU has launched a Vinyl Plus program, which is expected to increase PVC sustainability throughout the EU.

More information on the report is available here.