The European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates (ECPI), which represents six European companies involved in the production of plasticisers, is a founding member of VinylPlus, the new 10-year commitment of the European PVC industry which builds upon the achievements of the Vinyl 2010 programme.
VinylPlus takes the next important steps in tackling the sustainability challenges for PVC and also in establishing a long-term framework for the on-going sustainable development of the PVC value chain. The regional scope of the programme is the EU-27 plus Norway and Switzerland.
The VinylPlus programme has been developed bottom up in industry workshops and with an open process of stakeholder dialogue, including the industry, NGOs, regulators, public representatives and users of PVC. Five key sustainable development challenges have been identified for PVC together with a set of working principles. The first four challenges are technical in nature whilst the fifth challenge addresses raising awareness and understanding of the importance of sustainable development. Each of the challenges is based on The Natural Step System Conditions for a Sustainable Society.
About Vinyl 2010
Vinyl2010's programme run from 2000 to 2010. It was aimed to minimise the environmental impact of vinyl production, promote the responsible use of additives, support collection and recycling schemes, as well as to encourage social dialogue between all the industry’s stakeholders.
Vinyl 2010, which is a Partnership registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development was set up and is run by the four associations which represent the European PVC industry. Apart from ECPI, members include the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM), the European Plastics Converters (EuPC) and the European Stabiliser Producers Association (ESPA).
The achievements of Vinyl 2010 are particularly notable when it comes to collection and recycling. In 1999 there was no infrastructure for recycling of PVC in Europe and it was dismissed by many as an “unrecyclable”. Today, the audit results show that in the last year of Vinyl 2010 260,842 tonnes of unregulated post-consumer PVC waste were recycled across Europe - well beyond the initial goal of recycling an additional 200,000 tonnes on an annual basis by 2010.
The final Progress Report also confirms that the phase out and replacement of certain additives from the PVC production process is ahead of schedule across the EU – with cadmium phased out quickly, and lead substitution well ahead of schedule and fully on track to be replaced completely by 2015. Other achievements of note include the ongoing development of innovative new technologies to expand the scope and volume of PVC recycling and the launch of a number of multi-stakeholder platforms to discuss and promote sustainable resource management. In addition major EU Risk Assessments on PVC plasticisers were completed and published by the European Commission and Member States with the support of producers. These risk assessments were the culmination of 10 years of in-depth evaluation.