VinylPlus® is the 10-year Voluntary Commitment to sustainable development by the European PVC industry. The VinylPlus programme was developed through open dialogue with stakeholders, including industry, NGOs, regulators, civil society representatives and PVC users. Five key challenges have been identified for PVC on the basis of The Natural Step System Conditions for a Sustainable Society.

The regional scope of the programme is the EU-28 plus Norway and Switzerland.

Through the VinylPlus initiative, the European PVC industry is creating a long-term sustainability framework for the entire PVC value chain.

It aims to:

  • recycle 800,000 tonnes of PVC per year by 2020
  • promote a sustainable use of additives
  • improve PVC products sustainability and their contribution to sustainable development
  • reduce progressively GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions as well as energy and resource consumption along the entire production chain
  • move towards a low-carbon circular economy
  • build sustainability awareness along the value chain and among stakeholders.

VinylPlus founding members are:

  • European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers – ECVM
  • European Plastics Converters – EuPC
  • European Stabiliser Producers Association – ESPA
  • European Plasticisers (formerly ECPI)

VinylPlus’ enabling conditions and key elements for success:

Controlled-Loop Management

  • 639,648 tonnes of PVC recycled within the VinylPlus® framework.
  • Strategic reorganisation of Recovinyl, both in its management structure
    and its data collection and reporting systems for recycled PVC waste
    to further improve its performance.
  • Cooperation with EU authorities continued to address the issue of legacy
    additives (substances that are no longer used in new PVC products but
    that can be present in recycled PVC).
  • Energy and material recovery trials for difficult-to-recycle PVC waste.

Organochlorine Emissions

  • No transport accidents in Europe with VCM release.
  • PVC resin producers committed to achieving full compliance with the ECVM
    Industry Charters by 2020.

Sustainable Use of Additives

  • Average lead concentration in mixed streams of pre- and post-2015
    recyclates is constantly decreasing, following cessation by ESPA members
    of lead-based stabilisers’ sales in the EU-28 in December 2015.
  • Through ongoing research and innovation, the plasticisers industry
    continues to adapt to market and regulatory demands, while keeping its
    commitment to safe products and their sustainable use.
  • The first ASF (Additives Sustainability Footprint, a methodology to evaluate
    the use of additives in PVC products) was completed for window profiles.

Sustainable Use of Energy and Raw Materials

  • New verification ongoing on ECVM members’ energy consumption data
    for 2016-2017 to check progress towards the 20% reduction target
    by 2020.
  • Analysis of energy consumption data, covering about 20 production plants
    for flexible and rigid PVC films, showed an average saving of 20.3% per tonne
    of PVC product over the period 2010-2016.