VinylPlus raises the bar by registering over 440,000 tonnes of recycled PVC in Europe in 2013

VinylPlus, the sustainable development programme of the European PVC industry, registered a record 444,468 tonnes of recycled PVC last year – keeping the industry on track to meet the challenge of recycling 800,000 tonnes per year by 2020.

The 2013 results were presented today at the 2014 Vinyl Sustainability Forum in Rome. Welcoming delegates and speakers, including international, European and Italian institutions, NGOs, retailers and global PVC industry representatives, VinylPlus Chairman Michael Träger said: “We are very proud to show how VinylPlus is continuously progressing toward its targets. At the heart of our Commitment’s progress is the strong cooperation among PVC industry sector groups, companies, national associations and the factual contribution of our stakeholders. It is for that reason that this year’s Forum focuses on Enhancing the Value of Partnerships and their contribution to a more sustainable future.” He added “our commitment is strong and we will continue to guarantee maximum efforts in driving the PVC industry towards a greener economy and to promote a more sustainable model of industrial production at global level, by spreading our approach, experience and best practices”.

Speaking at the Forum, Councillor for the Environment of the Municipality of Ferrara, Rossella Zadro underlined the importance of a positive collaboration between the public and private sectors at local level: “It is very important that public authorities listen to, understand and have a continuous dialogue with industries implanted in their region, as is the case with VinyLoop®. On this basis, public authorities can play a proactive role in proposing projects and initiatives that are beneficial for all, including for citizens”.

In 2013, EU regulations’ potential impact on recycling because of the presence of ‘legacy additives’ in PVC waste was a serious challenge for the industry as it has the potential to reduce the amount of PVC that can be recycled. This concern is valid for PVC recycling but also for many other recycled materials. VinylPlus made significant efforts to address this issue with the relevant authorities.

In 2013 VinylPlus registered a decrease of 81.4% in the use of lead-based stabilisers in the EU-27 compared to 2007 levels, well on target to completing their substitution by the end of 2015. In 2014, the commitment will be extended to the EU-28.

Raising sustainability awareness is a key component of the VinylPlus programme. In 2013, VinylPlus’ Voluntary Commitment, its progress and its achievements were presented through active participation in high-level conferences, events and exhibitions at European and global level, such as the European Commission’s annual forum on international affairs and development cooperation, European Development Days. In November 2013, VinylPlus became a member of the Green Industry Platform (GIP), a joint initiative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

In her keynote speech in Rome, Barbara Kreissler, Head of the Business Partnerships Group at UNIDO said “UNIDO is particularly proud to have an industry-wide partnership such as VinylPlus on the Green Industry Platform. The recent milestones they have achieved demonstrate how the private sector can be transformative in nature and can take the lead in achieving an important step towards sustainability objectives and realizing a more inclusive and sustainable model of industrial development. This partnership model is therefore of great relevance not only in the European context, but also for developing and transition economies that are just beginning their journey of sustainable economic growth.”