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PVCU recycling aims achieved

More than quarter a million of tonnes of post-consumer PVCU was recycled in Europe last year through Recovinyl, the PVC industry’s recycling initiative, comfortably exceeding its 240,000 tonnes target by the end of 2010.

The UK contributed around 20% to the European total of 254,814 tonnes by recycling 49,343 tonnes of post-consumer PVC in 2010. Materials collected and recycled through the Recovinyl programme included window profiles, pipes, cables, flexible and rigid PVC.


Commenting on the scheme’s success, David Wiles and Jane Gardner, of Axion Consulting, Recovinyl’s UK agents, said the figures show that Recovinyl has achieved its original aims. That is to develop markets for post-consumer PVC recyclate in the UK and to promote its collection, recycling and re-use.

“It’s a tremendous result and what has really helped us to deliver this target in the UK is the strong co-operation between everyone involved in the PVC industry here, along with the valuable co-ordinating role played by the BPF,” said David.

Recovinyl’s success has also spawned another industry initiative managed by Axion – Recofloor, the waste vinyl flooring recycling scheme founded by leading flooring manufacturers, Altro and Polyflor. “Both projects are of huge benefit to manufacturers that can demonstrate a sustainable approach to production of new goods made from genuinely recyclable raw materials,” explained Jane.

Recovinyl was formed by the PVC industry body Vinyl 2010 to demonstrate commitment to sustainable development. Increasing use of recycled content in building products, such as reinforcement for PVCU windows, has contributed to Recovinyl’s on-going success since the scheme’s 2005 launch here.

The UK’s Europe-leading performance for PVC recycling has seen recycled rigid and flexible material being re-used in high grade applications, from new components to cills, cladding and roofline products. “Recovinyl has been a tremendous boost for the PVC industry in promoting the sustainability of PVCU, which can be recycled many times without losing performance. Encouraging more companies to recycle, rather than landfill, their PVC waste has great economic and environmental benefits,” Jane said.