The European plasticiser industry regrets the European Parliament objection to the Authorisation of recycled soft PVC containing DEHP

25 November 2015

The European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates – ECPI – is disappointed by the European Parliament’s plenary vote against the Commission proposal to authorise the recycling of soft PVC containing DEHP. The final decision will be taken by the European Commission which is not obligated to follow the European Parliament’s opinion.

Although the European Commission proposal to grant the Authorisation of flexible PVC recycling containing DEHP fully respects REACH, today’s plenary vote challenges this process. “ECPI respects the right of the European Parliament to oversee an implementing measures but it is essential to underline that the Commission has been strictly adhering to its mandate under REACH. This is a highly complex and technical process based on thorough scientific and socio-economic impact assessments”, commented Stéphane Content, General Manager of ECPI.

In September 2014, ECHA’s Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) and Socioeconomic Analysis Committee (SEAC), based on an extensive evaluation of all available data, recommended the Authorisation of DEHP for use in specific applications including recycled soft PVC containing DEHP.

“We call on the European Commission to respect the scientific conclusions of both RAC and SEAC. We hope for a positive confirmation to be finally given to the Authorisation for the continued recycling of soft PVC containing DEHP to produce PVC articles and the formulation of recycled soft PVC containing DEHP in compounds and dry-blends”.

Furthermore, ECPI is concerned that this objection could undermine recycling, which in Europe represents about 200k tons per year of flexible PVC, for uses which have been proven to be safe. – This opens a much wider debate around European waste management and the Circular Economy, the latter being strongly supported by the European Commission and the European Parliament.

“PVC can be recycled without loss of performance and with risk control for human health and the environment. The alternatives to recycling are incineration, landfilling and export outside the EU leading to an outright loss of valuable materials for the EU economy”- stated Content. “PVC recycling enhances resources efficiency, reduces emissions and brings environmental benefits.”