Circular approach demands 'dramatic change' for industry

Germany: Europe's PVC industry is making real progress in its contribution to the circular economy through a united approach, it was highlighted at the fifth VinylPlus Sustainability Forum in the German capital Berlin.

Organised by VinylPlus, the European PVC industry's sustainability programme, this year’s forum was held against the backdrop of major decisions being taken on the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package, with presentations and panel discussions focusing on how the vinyl industry is tackling key sustainability issues - such as legacy additives in recycled PVC - and how it can continue to develop initiatives to increase the circular flow of resources.

The move from a predominantly linear to a largely circular economic system would ‘dramatically change’ how companies and value chains co-operate and the way goods are produced and consumed, according to VinylPlus’ chairman Josef Ertl. ‘In this context, we must ensure that the entire life-cycle of a product is considered - not just aspects at the end of the life-cycle,’ he stressed.

Ertl called on political leaders to work closely with the PVC industry to analyse the potential impacts of any decisions that might affect it. ‘They should ensure that the process is developing smoothly without too many frictions,’ he said. ‘We in the PVC and plastics industry will support such an approach.’

Michael Kundel, president of European Plastics Converters (EuPC), argued that a clear way forward on how to handle end-of-life PVC is ‘urgently required’ if its further potential is to be exploited in the future.

He called on the PVC industry and political decision-makers to ‘co-operate fully and establish a framework that meets the needs of a low-carbon economy’.

 



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