An integrated PVC resource management strategy

PlasticsEurope, which represents the European plastics industry, places a strong emphasis on efficient and responsible use of resources. Its overall strategy focuses on an integrated approach, covering all stages of the plastic lifecycle, from production to final disposal or reuse.

The integrated approach tackles waste management by:

  • Reducing waste at the source – minimising the weight and volume of waste at the production stage.
  • Reusing products – extending their life where possible.
  • Recycling – making new products out of used goods.
  • Recovery – harnessing the high energy value of used plastic goods to produce light, heat and power.
  • Landfill – as a last resort, for non-recoverable products and the residual waste from recovery operations.

Vinyl 2010 is a ten-year voluntary programme on Sustainable Development by the whole European PVC industry. Since it began, a total of 688,674 tonnes have been recycled. In 2009, 190,324 tonnes of post-consumer PVC were recycled. The PVC industry is well on the way to fulfilling its commitment to recycle 200,000 tonnes of post-consumer PVC per year by 2010. It is also committed to continuing this programme in future.

Recovinyl is an independent, non-profit association which supports and develops PVC waste collection and recycling schemes. It facilitates the collection, sorting, dispatching and recycling of mixed PVC post-consumer waste, mainly from the building and construction sectors. Recovinyl does not collect or recycle itself, but utilises and motivates existing waste management organisations.

With the help of financial incentives from Vinyl 2010, it has progressively integrated the collection and recycling initiatives previously managed by the following EuPC sectoral projects:

Since its creation, Recovinyl has made a major contribution to the growth of registered volumes of post-consumer PVC being recycled in Europe. This has soared from 14,000 tonnes in 2005 to 186,238 tonnes in 2009.

Recovinyl is active in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and the UK. It lists 107 active recyclers. Its website ( is available in 11 languages and provides tools for registering waste volumes online, as well as Recovinyl contracts and guidelines.