VinylPlus: PVC Industry’s New Ten Year Sustainability Commitment
On 22 June 2011, the European Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) industry launched VinylPlus – a new voluntary commitment to enhance the sustainable production and use of PVC by 2020.
The VinylPlus programme is built around five commitments aimed at: achieving a quantum leap 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 success of the Vinyl 2010 programme which revolutionised the PVC value chain in Europe between 2000-2010 through significant advances in waste management, stakeholder engagement and responsible use of additives. Among its most significant achievements was the establishment of an infrastructure for the annual collection and recycling of over 250,000 tonnes of PVC - which prior to 2000 had been dismissed by many as an “unrecyclable” material destined for landfill.
Concrete targets in the VinylPlus commitment include the recycling of 800,000 tonnes of PVC per year by 2020 of which 100,000 tonnes should be treated by innovative technologies to tackle applications that have posed a challenge for recycling up to now. The industry is also planning to introduce a new VinylPlus certification and labelling scheme designed to help users to identify and prioritise sustainably produced PVC, while also creating value for VinylPlus participants.
VinylPlus will be monitored by an independent monitoring committee made up of representatives of the European Parliament, European Commission, trade unions, retailers and consumer organisations. As with Vinyl 2010, the industry will publish an independently verified and audited report outlining the progress made against each of the VinylPlus targets.
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