The Washington-based Vinyl Sustainability Council (VSC) says some 1.1 billion pounds (550,000 tons) of the polymer material is diverted from landfills annually in the United States and Canada. The council did not provide a diversion percentage figure attached to the 550,000-ton volume figure.
“Post-consumer recycling contributes roughly 15 percent, and this number has grown 40 percent since 2014,” says the council.
In its 2019 “Our Sustainable Journey” report, the council says its Landfill Diversion Task Force “is focused on further reducing the amount of vinyl reaching the landfill by increasing the percentage of post-consumer vinyl recycled. The task force is composed of VSC members, allied trade organizations, and recyclers.”
According to the VSC, its Landfill Diversion Task Force is focusing on:
- identifying success stories that can be replicated;
- working with recyclers to expand and create new recycled material applications;
- finding ways to effectively collect, transport, and recycle vinyl products at the end of their life cycle;
- partnering with private and public organizations that can help expand the recycling capabilities of the vinyl industry; and
- identifying meaningful numeric targets for recycling that the industry can strive for going forward.
In a survey of its membership, the VSC says it found that 55 percent of those responding had established either pre- or post-consumer recycling activities. Some 43 percent of respondents described themselves as “familiar with the secondary vinyl recycling market.”
Among its success stories, the VSC points to Ohio-based Return Polymers Inc., which makes recycled-content polyvinyl chloride (PVC) compounds; flooring recycling efforts by Interface and Tarkett; and a roofing material recycling program by Sika Corp.