At the 10th VinylPlus Sustainability Forum, livestreamed from Brussels today, participants could look back at a successful first year of the new VinylPlus 2030 Commitment, the voluntary 10-year commitment adopted last year by the European PVC industry aimed at minimising the environmental impact of PVC production and manufacturing. VinylPlus 2030, building on the efforts of the previous two voluntary 10-year commitments, aims to proactively contribute to addressing priorities at the European and global levels.
“We aim to contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with a particular focus on sustainable consumption and production, climate change and partnerships,” said Brigitte Dero, Managing Director of VinylPlus. “This, in full alignment with relevant EU policies under the European Green Deal, such as the EU Circular Economy Action Plan and the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.”
Despite the fraught conditions of the past year, 810,775 tonnes of PVC waste were recycled and used in new products by European PVC industry through the voluntary commitment, which represents around 26.9% of the total PVC waste generated in 2021 in the EU-27, Norway, Switzerland and the UK. VinylPlus’ recycling rate is above the 23.1% recycling rate estimated by AMI Consulting for the overall plastics recycling in Europe in 2021. In total, some 7.3 million tonnes of PVC having been recycled into new products since 2000, preventing the release of more than 14.5 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.
VinylPlus has also made advances in ensuring the traceability of waste. To that end, Recovinyl, responsible for monitoring and verifying the recycling of PVC waste throughout Europe, launched RecoTrace to further enhance its recording and tracing schemes for recycling volumes and the uptake of recyclates in new products. RecoTrace is the first system to comply with the monitoring requirements of the EU Circular Plastics Alliance.
Other VinylPlus flagship initiatives include the Additive Sustainability Footprint (ASF) methodology, which was developed as a voluntary, European-wide approach to assess and promote the sustainable production and use of additives in PVC products; and the VinylPlus Product Label, the first certification scheme for plastic building and construction products that has been recognised as Responsible Sourcing Certification Scheme within BREEAM – the world’s most widely used green building standard. In addition, two new sustainability schemes, the VinylPlus Supplier Certificates (VSC) for additive producers and compounders, will now allow raw material suppliers to demonstrate their sustainability efforts and facilitate converters in obtaining the VinylPlus Product Label.
The VinylPlus Product Label Awards Ceremony concluded the event, celebrating the five VinylPlus partner companies that were awarded the Label in 2021 and 2022.