Recovery and Recycling
IntroductionThe majority of PVC products have a pretty long life. This means a higher efficiency using natural resources. The PVC products then need little maintenance, resulting in economic and environmental saving. Thanks to the low presence of carbon (< 40%) PVC is the one plastic that less contributes to CO2 emission. LCA eco-efficiency studies on the main PVC application demonstrate that GER and GWP levels on PVC are compared to those from other alternative materials. Actually, on various occasions, PVC behaves in a better way: less CO2 emissions and less energetic usage. As a consequence, the PVC applications have received by international environmental research and certification authorities excellent evaluations in terms of environmental performance and sustainability.
During the last decades, the PVC European sector put a tangible effort to increase recycling levels. The main recycling types are: Mechanical recycle: it means to reduce the PVC item into scaps in order to proceed with the blending and the production; Chemical recycle: it means to break the PVC product up into the parts it is made of until the same starting original resin is created; Energetic recycle: it means to recover the energy still available on PVC waste thanks to the waste-to-energy process
FROM 2000 TO 2010 – VINYL2010 The first commitment made by PVC supply chain participants was Vinyl2010, a ten-year program focused on the idea of evaluating and sustaining this material recycling on a large scale. Amongst the precise goals of this project, we remember the replacement of lead stabilizers by 2015, the recovery by 2010 of 200.000 tons of post-consuming PVC, the research and development of new recycling technologies.
2010-2020 – VINYLPLUS On 2010 Vinyl2010 becomes VinylPlus, the new ten-year program focused on the recovery of 800.000 tons of PVC by 2020. As indicated in the chart above the sector is rising. Laborplast for its part has recycled over 12.000 tons of PVC in 2017, which is more than the 2% of the total amount. It has been demonstrated by international research authorities that PVC recycling has other advantages as energy saving, less CO2 pollution and the creation of jobs.
To be more specific:
- Energy saving: up to -90% then virgin PVC production
- 2 kg di CO2 less that enters our environment each PVC kg recycled
- 2 jobs created on recovery facilities each PVC ton recycled