The PVC Committee of the Polymer Society
The PVC Committee's activities will be of interest to:
- Those who are involved in any aspects of Polyvinyl Chloride through its life cycle and who wish to see the many unique properties of this versatile polymer to be exploited and developed to the full.
- Those who wish to know more about this extremely cost effective polymer in relation to formulations, processing, end-use applications and sustainability.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
Triennial PVC Conference
PVC 2017: On sustainable performance, innovation and the changing market
Over 530 delegates from 43 different countries gathered in Brighton, UK at the PVC triennial conference, which continues to be the world’s most reputable forum supporting the future of PVC globally.
Industry professionals including manufacturers, producers and suppliers came together to discuss how the industry is rapidly adapting to regulatory and market pressures as well as to consumer demands.
Around 70 papers were presented at the event covering the entire life cycle of PVC products including environmentally responsible production, sustainable use of additives, efficient raw materials use and controlled loop recycling.
Brigitte Dero, VinylPlus General Manager, who opened the conference on Tuesday 25 April, explained one of the challenges in the PVC industry is promoting dialogue and raising sustainability awareness along the value chain and among stakeholders.
“Building trust is a long term project. PVC is ahead of the game and we have confidence that what the industry is doing is the best,” she said.
“Our journey continues to address all concerns and engage the PVC industry towards sustainability as a whole through dialogue and practical partnerships,” Dero added.
In the last 15 years there has been significant effort made to develop an effective PVC recycling industry, which has enabled the recycling of three million tonnes of PVC since 2000.
A total of nearly 600,000 tonnes of PVC was recycled in Europe last year, as part of the European PVC industry sustainable development programme. The largest volumes of recyclates came from window profiles, cables, flexible applications, pipes and fittings. The industry is on track to reach its target to recycle 800,000 tonnes per year by 2020.
Innovation is key to restoring market growth while maintaining sustainable development progress and increasing competitiveness, explained Chris Tane, Inovyn CEO, in his address at the conference.
Tane said: “Since the first large scale commercialisation of PVC in the 1930s we have seen the global market for PVC grow to over 40 million tonnes per year.”
“The annual trend in the number of PVC patents registered is sharply increasing and PVC products continue to develop and evolve to meet changing human needs and aspirations,” he commented.
PVC 2017 was organised by PVC professionals for the PVC industry in conjunction with IOM Communications Ltd on behalf of the Polymer Society, a division of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining with support from the British Plastics Federation and the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers.
Almost 490 delegates from 36 countries attended the twelfth triennial PVC 2014 Conference over 1 to 3 June in Brighton, UK with the aims of getting a global overview of latest market and technical developments as the sector demonstrated its ability to improve its sustainability credentials.
With 11 papers on the opening Day 1 session followed by 54 papers running concurrently in three sessions on Days 2 and 3 covering Sustainability, Flexible PVC Formulations, Processing and Properties, Polymerisation/Resin Development and Additives being available, the delegates had plenty of choice in a very well organised and smooth running conference.
The venue at the Hilton Brighton Metropole also proved to be an excellent choice for organising meetings and networking.
The accompanying exhibition was also well supported and included a specially arranged feature on articles made from recycled PVC.
Jonathon Porritt CBE and Founder and Director of Forum for the Future delivered his keynote, Sustainable Futures: Re-Making the World and it did not disappoint. He brought the PVC 2014 audience down to earth with a bump and gave an honest account of where we are, where we need to aim and how we can attempt to get there. He said, 'We have to know precisely what we mean by sustainability in order to understand how to get there'.
The event was co-organised by the British Plastics Federation, and supported by the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers with their regional associations.
To assist local societies in arranging PVC related topics for the evening lecture programme. Target is to average one lecture per year somewhere in the UK.
The committee aims to generate one education initiative, funded or partially funded by IOM3, every three years which will assist to educate and promote particular aspects of polymers (including PVC) and materials.
The last project was a partnership with RIBA, Royal Institution of British Architects, for contributing to a lecture series around UK universities and colleges entitled 'Design through Production' by highlighting Polymers for Architectural Design
Prior to this, there was a parnership with the BPF (British Plastics Federation) for a unique new online PVC resource for students of architecture and building industries through Riba's President's Medal Student Awards. Details are here
Previously the initiative resulted in a resource at The Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds, UK. "Fantastic Plastics" is a project designed to increase public understanding of the role of medical plastics – in particular PVC - and the issues surrounding them. There is currently a display in the Museum’s permanent galleries and a web resource is being developed. The gallery display features a fascinating interactive exhibit, enabling users to experience at first hand use of medical plastics in a surgical context, again with emphasis on the use of PVC. The website educational resources will animate the issues around use of medical plastics, encouraging more in-depth exploration and debate.