In 2019, the EATS subgroup of the Vinyl Films and Sheets Europe association launched a recycling project that aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of PVC recycling in the automotive industry.
Developed in response to the strong demand from consumers and legislators for more sustainable solutions, especially in the automotive and plastic industries, the project has now reached completion. The outcome is a new application that is based on recycled PVC from the automotive industry.
The project was an initiative of three members - the Cotting Group, TMG Automotive, and Vulcaflex - of EATS, the acronym for European Automotive Trim Suppliers, in partnership with the France-based, family-owned Cifra recycling group and additional stakeholders from the automotive industry. It was co-funded by the VinylPlus programme.
The project’s participants first conducted a market study to explore possible applications for recycled PVC. Heel mats were selected as the product with the most potential, after which the technical development work commenced, conducted by project partner Cifra.
“The technical development was challenging but together with our value chain partners we created a product that meets the highest technical and aesthetic expectations while increasing its sustainability and circularity," said Michel Py, Vice-President of VFSE and CEO of Cifra.
This result - the successful development of a new application using recycled PVC from the automotive industry in a closed loop is an important step to showcase the potential for sustainable circular solutions with PVC in the automotive sector. The project partners emphasise that they are all open to pursuing this development within the scope of further collaborations.