PVC 2017: On sustainable performance, innovation and the changing market

28 Apr 2017

Over 530 delegates from 43 different countries gathered this week 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.

Brigette Dero VinylPlus General Manager Copyright © MLR PHOTO

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.  

Chris Tane Inovyn CEO Copyright © MLR PHOTO

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.

For more information, contact Amber Trower amber.trower@iom3.org