The new ten-year sustainability programme of the European PVC industry
VinylPlus is the new ten-year Voluntary Commitment of the European PVC industry which builds upon the achievements of the Vinyl 2010 programme, taking the next important steps in tackling sustainability challenges for PVC and also in establishing a long-term framework for the ongoing sustainable development of the PVC value chain.
VinylPlus builds on the achiements of Vinyl 2010, a ten-year ambitious programme launched in 2000 to move the PVC industry towards sustainability by minimising the environmental impact of PVC production, promoting responsible use of additives, supporting collection and recycling schemes, and encouraging social dialogue between all of the industry’s stakeholders and beyond. Over this ten-year period, Vinyl 2010 succeeded in meeting its performance targets and among the most significant achievements are:
the establishment of an infrastructure for the collection and recycling of PVC in Europe (Recovinyl recycling network);
the phasing-out of cadmium stabilisers from PVC production in the EU-27 by 2007;
the replacement of lead stabilisers by 75% in 2010 and on track to be fully replaced in 2015;
ongoing research, testing and expert evaluations on the part of the plasticiser industry;
the establishment of a Research and Development programme on new recycling and recovery technologies.
Vinyl 2010 is regarded as a leading example of industry self-regulation working in practice and delivering concrete results. All major targets have been met or exceeded and a new sustainable business model involving the whole PVC value chain has been created.
VinylPlus, the successor of Vinyl 2010, was launched in June 2011. Its programme is built around five ambitious commitments:
Sustainable management of materials with a substantial increase in recycling volumes, working towards an efficient use and control of PVC throughout its lifecycle (recycling of 800,000 tonnes/year of PVC by 2020).
Organochlorine emissions: helping to ensure that persistent organic compounds do not accumulate in nature.
Responsible use of additives: moving towards the replacement of lead stabilisers by 2015, review the use of other additives and moving towards the best possible sustainable additive systems.
Resource and energy efficient: helping to minimise climate impacts through the reduction of energy and raw material consumption, potentially switching to renewable energy and raw material sources and promoting innovation in these areas.
Stakeholder engagement: building sustainability awareness across the value chain - including both internal and external stakeholders - to accelerate progress towards resolving sustainability challenges.
VinylPlus represents the whole PVC industry chain. Its four founding members are:
- ECVM (the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers), representing the 13 European PVC resin producing companies which account for almost 100% of the current total EU-27 PVC resin production. These businesses operate around 60 different plants spread over 35 sites and employ approximately 10,000 people.
- ESPA (the European Stabilisers Producers Association), representing 11 companies which produce more than 98% of the stabilisers sold in Europe. They employ some 5,000 people.
- ECPI (the European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates), representing the seven major European plasticiser and intermediate producers that employ approximately 1,200 people in plasticiser production.
- EuPC (the European Plastics Converters) represents close to 50,000 companies in Europe, producing over 45 million tonnes of plastic products of various types every year. EuPC estimates that around 21,000 of these businesses (many of which are SMEs), employing over half a million people, are involved in the conversion of PVC into final home and industrial products.
Read more on VinylPlus Sustainable Thinking Platform - Photo Competition 2013