The UK has been ranked second in Europe – behind Germany – in collecting and recycling waste PVC, with a total of 137,989 tonnes recycled in 2018 across all PVC recycling formats.
Of this total, PVC window profiles accounted for 73,703 tonnes, according to latest industry figures. The UK’s sizeable effort represents around 19% of the 739,525 tonnes of waste PVC recycled throughout Europe in 2018 – a new record high. Across Europe, window profiles and related building products accounted for 44% of the total PVC recycled.
Recovinyl, the PVC industry’s recycling scheme, was the largest contributor to this total and registered a total of 734,568 tonnes of PVC waste entirely recycled in Europe in 2018, a 15.6% increase from 2017. In Europe, the demand for recycled rigid PVC is currently very high, indicating the potential for further strengthening collection and recycling schemes.
Recovinyl has further sharpened its certification and audit schemes to ensure maximum reliability of collected data and of recyclates traceability, both from recyclers and converters. Over the last 12 months, two new recyclers that focus on rigid PVC have joined the UK Recovinyl network – Tecvyn in Hull and Recycling PVC in Manchester – making a total of 24 accredited recyclers across the country. Across Europe, 11 new recyclers signed up in the first half of 2019.
Almost 5 million tonnes of PVC have been recycled within the Vinyl 2010 and VinylPlus frameworks across Europe since 2000, with around 10 million tonnes of CO2 saved.