The European PVC industry has released its latest annual Vinyl 2010 Progress Report which confirms that the PVC industry's sustainable development initiative is definitely on track to achieve its Voluntary Commitment 10-year targets, as reported by Vinyl2010.com. The audited results show that 194,950 tons of PVC were recycled in 2008, a year-on-year 30% increase on the levels for post-consumer PVC recycling.
The achievements of Vinyl 2010 are particularly notable when it comes to collection and recycling. In 1999 there was no infrastructure for recycling of PVC in Europe and it was dismissed by many as an “unrecyclable” material. Today, the audit results show that in the last year alone 260,842 tons of unregulated post-consumer PVC waste were recycled by Vinyl 2010’s network of PVC recyclers across Europe - well beyond the initial goal of recycling an additional 200,000 tons on an annual basis by 2010. The final Progress Report also confirms that the phase out and replacement of certain additives from the PVC production process is ahead of schedule across the EU – with cadmium phased out quickly, and lead substitution well ahead of schedule and fully on track to be replaced completely by 2015. Other achievements of note include the ongoing development of innovative new technologies to expand the scope and volume of PVC recycling and the launch of a number of multi-stakeholder platforms to discuss and promote sustainable resource management. In addition major EU Risk Assessments on PVC plasticisers were completed and published by the European Commission and Member States with the support of producers. These risk assessments were the culmination of 10 years of in-depth evaluation. Among the factors that will influence the success of this new initiative will be the active support of all companies in the PVC value chain, increased recognition of the market value of recycled PVC and ever greater efforts by public authorities and other stakeholders to divert waste from landfills.
Vinyl 2010 was set up and is run by the four associations which represent the European PVC industry: the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM), the European Plastics Converters (EuPC), the European Stabiliser Producers Association (ESPA) and the European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates (ECPI).