The UK recycled its largest-ever amount of PVC in 2015 through the Recovinyl scheme.
Recovinyl, the operational arm of VinylPlus, the European PVC industry sustainable development programme, contributed 107,593 tonnes to the total recycled through the PVC industry's recycling scheme in 2015.
The figure represented an increase of 13% compared to the previous year and amounted to the equivalent of nearly 4.3 million PVC-U windows.
A total of 508,154 tonnes of waste PVC was recycled through Recovinyl last year across its 16 European member countries. The Recovinyl network currently comprises 163 companies.
Waste PVC-U profiles (61,866 tonnes) contributed more than half of the UK's recycling achievement in 2015, with pipes, rigid and flexible PVC films and cables making up the rest.
“The recycling of PVC continues to grow in line with continued investment in recycling infrastructure throughout the country and robust commitment from the sector. It's a remarkable achievement that demonstrates the sustainability of this readily-recyclable material,” said project manager Jane Gardner of Axion Consulting, Recovinyl's UK agents.
New recycling initiatives for PVC are taking off in the UK, such as the collection of single-use waste PVC medical devices via RecoMed and the collection of PVC gift cards. RecoMed is funded by VinylPlus and undertaken jointly by Axion Consulting and the British Plastics federation. The take-back scheme is now operational in seven hospitals across the UK and since early 2014 has recycled more than 830 kg of PVC waste.
Gardner added: “RecoMed is growing and we're expecting more hospitals to join the scheme in 2016. It is estimated that up to 2,250 tonnes of PVC could be recycled by collecting these items alone from 150 hospitals in the UK, enabling them to save money on their waste disposal costs and increase recycling rates.”