PVC in Europe: Vinyl countdown to success In 2020

Europe’s PVC industry has done extremely well, hitting record levels of recycling – and is on track to hit its 2020 target!

VinylPlus, the industry’s sustainable development programme, recorded 362,000 tonnes of recycled PVC in 2012. The target for 2020 is 800,000 tonnes, and this should be achievable.

The classification of “recycled PVC” has been expanded to take in post-consumer and some post-industrial PVC, in addition to some of the EU’s regulated waste streams.

The industry’s success is as a result of its move from a linear consumption model, in which manufactured PVC is used and then discarded, to a closed loop system in which end-of-life material is put back into production.

A further development for VinylPlus is a product label concept in partnership with The Natural Step, as well as BRE, a UK certification body. The programme also promotes sustainability, communicating effectively in debates and at conferences on the industry’s goals.

Recycling Lives is pleased to learn about the European PVC recycling figures, which are very encouraging. Clearly, the sustainability message is filtering through to industry bodies and consumers alike. Everybody needs to continue to recycle and look for more opportunities for reuse in order to meet, or perhaps even exceed, the 2020 target.

At Recycling Lives, we are making our own contribution to the PVC recycling figures. Always keen to prioritise reuse over recycling, we have developed our own innovative manufacturing process for all plastic polymers, including PVC. In this process, strong beams are made from waste plastic. They are then used in the construction industry, as an alternative to wood.

We carry out a similar process with waste glass, which is made into tiles. They can be used in kitchens and bathrooms, and look great; better still, they are more sustainable than granite, marble or synthetic tiles.

In addition to helping the environment, Recycling Lives’ comprehensive range of creative solutions to waste management problems sustain its social welfare charity, which supports homeless people to find work and accommodation.

Residents are provided with accommodation and employment opportunities when they are supported by the charity. They follow a six-stage support plan, in which they regain their independent living skills, learning how to cook healthy meals and manage any debts they may have.

All of our operations are rooted in our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, which ensures that we add social value to communities and the local economy in every area in which we work. Businesses wishing to boost their own Corporate Social Responsibility can make a start by hiring Recycling Lives for their plastics recycling requirements!