Jul 01 2011
Author: Helmuth Leitner
In 2000, the European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) industry launched Vinyl 2010 – a voluntary commitment to achieve ambitious targets by the end of the decade on collection and recycling of post-consumer PVC waste, the phase out of certain additives, minimising the environmental impact of PVC production, and encouraging social dialogue between all of the industry’s stakeholders.
Why did the European PVC industry set up Vinyl 2010?
PVC is one of the most widely used polymers in the world and is noted for its strong cost-performance qualities. Due to its versatile nature, it has traditionally been used extensively across different sectors and brings important benefits to products and applications in construction, automotive, medical, electrical and electronic and retail sectors. Examples of its applications range from making cars lighter, more resistant against corrosion, making windows that last longer, allowing fresh water savings through durable pipes and storing blood to help save lives. PVC has many properties that meet key sustainability criteria - amongst other things it is lightweight and highly durable which contributes to an efficient use of natural resources.
However, by the late 1990’s, these qualities were being eclipsed by concerns over the use of certain additives as well as the lack of recycling options for PVC products once they had reached their “end-of-life” phase. Aware that these concerns might materialize into damaging regulation, in 2000 the European PVC industry took the pioneering step of developing a set of ambitious and measurable targets to be achieved over the following ten years. Vinyl 2010 was born.
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