<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Sustainable development
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PVC waste management


Waste comes in many shapes, sizes and from different sources. Much domestic and industrial waste ends up in landfill. This is wasteful and not sustainable.

Not all waste contains PVC.

The challenge is to take available PVC that has come to the end of its useful life and recycle it to provide new raw materials for new products.


Sources of PVC waste

Sorting waste for recycling

Mixed waste is sorted before
the PVC is recycled.

Picture: PVC Forum

Sources of PVC waste

Sources of PVC waste in the European Union

Data: EU


Current estimates suggest that there are 4.1 million tonnes of PVC waste produced in the European Union each year.

The EU produces a total of 1.3 billion tonnes of waste each year.

PVC wastes account for only about 0.3% of the total waste in the EU.


Commitment to sustainability

There is a target to recycle 50% of pipes, window frames, roofing membranes and flooring by 2008. This is proving to be costly and may not be an economically-sustainable approach. Currently raw materials are cheap and recycling is expensive. As the price of raw materials increases, recycling will become a more attractive option.

PVC recycling projects in the European Union include:

  • Research continues into new methods for the recovery and recycling of PVC.

  • Co-operation with the construction industry in Germany has resulted in increased recycling of window frames and pipes.

  • 75% of Denmark's municipal waste sites are covered by a pipe collection and recycling scheme.

  • Collection schemes are being put in place to recycle roofing membranes in Germany.

  • Collection and recycling schemes are being put into place for PVC floor coverings.