09 January 2015

Rise of PVC in building underpinned by success of recycling initiatives

upvc waste conferenceTThe use of uPVC in construction has been made possible by successful efforts to improve the recycling infrastructure for the material.


The change in fortune is symbolised by the difference between the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney – when PVC was banned partly because of the lack of recycling options – and London 2012, when the same material was approved for use in stadium construction.

What happened in the interim is that the European plastics industry worked hard to ensure that recycling of PVC improved. At the continental level, the Vinyl2010 project was developed with the aim of recycling 200,000 tonnes of PVC per year by 2010, which led to the current VinylPlus initiative, with an updated target of recycling 800,000 tonnes of PVC each year by 2020.

Closer to home, practical examples include Merritt Plastics’ success in recycling uPVC window frames and manufacturing new components from the recycled material. Proving the percentage of recycled material is critical to ensuring the long-term prospects of uPVC manufacture, so housing recycling and converting under one company creates a streamlined, highly efficient supply chain.