European PVC Industry Launches 10-Year Sustainability Commitment

Organization calls for more support for PVC recycling in Europe.

August 2, 2011
Recycling Today Staff

The European PVC industry, through VinylPlus, has released a new set of targets for the sustainable development of PVC plastics through 2020 and has called for European policymakers to help stimulate PVC recycling in Europe.

The VinylPlus says the program is built around five commitments: achieving an increase in recycling rates of PVC and the development of innovative recycling technologies; addressing concerns about organochlorine emissions; ensuring the sustainable use of additives; enhancing energy efficiency and the use or renewable energy and raw materials in PVC production; and promoting sustainability throughout the whole PVC value chain.

The initiative follows the organization’s Vinyl 2010 ten-year commitment to enhance the sustainable production and use of PVC.

Josef Ertl, VinylPlus chairman, says, “VinylPlus is even more ambitious in its targets and scope than Vinyl 2010. The aim of the industry is to continue to contribute to Europe 2020 goals on sustainable growth through results-driven self regulation. However, this will not be possible without the support of policy makers at the EU and the national level in stimulating recycling and the use of recyclates through effective waste management and green procurement policies. Promoting a move towards zero landfill in Europe would help boost private investment in waste management and unlock the economic potential of the recycling sector.”

 VinylPlus has set a goal to recycle 800,000 metric tons of PVC per year by 2020, of which 100,000 metric tons should be treated by innovative technologies to tackle applications that have posed a challenge for recycling up to now. The industry also is planning to introduce a VinylPlus certification and labeling scheme designed to help users identify and prioritize sustainably produced PVC.

The PVC industry will publish an independently verified and audited report outlining the progress made against each of the VinylPlus targets.

Finally, the European PVC industry is committed to engaging in efforts to globalize its VinylPlus approach by sharing best practice and encouraging similar voluntary initiatives elsewhere in the world.

Commenting on this objective on behalf of the VinylPlus Monitoring Committee, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, says, “The efforts of the PVC industry in the past ten years have become a reference point for self-regulation in Europe. We welcome the ambition of the industry with VinylPlus to demonstrate European leadership on sustainable development on a global scale.”