VinylPlus, the Voluntary Commitment of the European PVC industry, recycled nearly 740,000 tonnes of PVC in 2018, a 15.6% increase from 2017. The results are published in the 2019 Progress Report, recently launched at the seventh VinylPlus Sustainability Forum in Prague, where the PVC industry addressed some of the most pressing challenges facing the industry and shared further progress towards increasing the sustainability performance of PVC.
“VinylPlus continues to be a frontrunner for the circular economy,” states Brigitte Dero, VinylPlus General Manager. “Through our Voluntary Commitment, we are making continuous progress towards our sustainability goals amid the development of EU policies impacting the plastics sector.”
Recycling is a key part of VinylPlus’ Voluntary Commitment to sustainability and the circular economy. In 2018, the PVC industry recycled an all-time high of nearly 740,000 tonnes – 92.4% of the VinylPlus 2020 target. Recovinyl remains the main contributor, registering 734,568 tonnes of recycled PVC. Cumulatively, almost 5 million tonnes of PVC have been recycled since 2000.
The annual Progress Report outlines the European PVC industry’ efforts towards the five key sustainability challenges identified for PVC on the basis of The Natural Step (TNS) System Conditions for a Sustainable Society. The five challenges include controlled-loop management, sustainable use of additives, sustainable use of energy and raw materials, organochlorine emissions, and sustainability awareness.
VinylPlus is regarded as a role model for its positive industry-led contribution to the circular economy. By uniting the entire value-chain, the PVC industry has taken a holistic approach to addressing challenges and opportunities along the entire lifecycle of PVC products. Delivering results that can have a real impact is only possible by taking such an approach.
The Progress Report was launched at the 2019 VinylPlus Sustainability Forum which took place in Prague from 9-10 May. This year’s theme was Accelerating Innovation and featured speakers from the European Commission, European Parliament, the Czech Ministry of Environment, the United Nations, NGOs, academia, speciﬁers, designers, recyclers and the PVC value chain. Recently re-elected MEP Martina Dlabajová said: “Evolution towards sustainable development requires a change of mindset. I often find myself using VinylPlus as an example of a voluntary commitment to sustainable development from industry that works. Only through cooperation with businesses and industry can politicians make informed decisions.”
2018 was an exciting year as VinylPlus officially launched the VinylPlus® Product Label. The Product Label is a sustainability certification scheme for all PVC building and construction products, making it simpler for customers, specifiers and markets to identify PVC products and solutions delivering the highest sustainability performance and contribution to the circular economy. The Product Label is based on sustainability criteria, including responsible sourcing and additives. To date, eight profile manufacturers – Deceuninck, Epwin Window System, Finstral, Internorm, Rehau, Salamander Industrie Produkte, Schüco and Veka – have been awarded the Product Label for 43 profile systems manufactured in 13 European sites across 11 countries.
VinylPlus® is the Voluntary Commitment of the European PVC industry. The programme establishes a long-term framework for the sustainable development of the PVC industry by tackling a number of critical challenges in the EU-28, Norway and Switzerland.
Achievements detailed in the Progress Report have been independently verified by SGS, while tonnages of recycled PVC waste and expenditures have been audited and certified by KPMG. The 2019 Progress Report is available at www.vinylplus.eu.
2019 Progress Report: vinylplus.eu/documents/51/59/VinylPlus-Progress-Report-2019