For over 20 years, through successive VinylPlus sustainability commitments, the PVC industry has worked to ensure that PVC does not pose a risk to health or the environment. The ECHA report reflects this progress, showing that risks linked to the production of PVC are adequately controlled, that many additives used in PVC do not present a risk, and that PVC is being recycled across the EU in greater volumes than ever before.
Responding to the report, Brigitte Dero, Managing Director of VinylPlus, said: “VinylPlus constructively worked with ECHA in its task of performing a whole lifecycle assessment of PVC, its additives, and potential alternatives, highlighting their performance, costs, and lifecycle benefits alongside the impact on human health and our environment. VinylPlus, thanks to the collective efforts of its value chain partners, has provided extensive, up-to-date information, including volumes, uses, migration, hazards, exposure, and potential risks. I am proud of the role played collectively by the PVC value chain.” She added that “VinylPlus will carefully examine the report and its annexes. Given the evidence submitted by VinylPlus throughout the investigation process, we question the risks identified by ECHA for some ortho-phthalates and other plasticisers, organotin stabilisers and microparticles, and we are committed to working with regulators to provide information as needed”.
Although the evidence submitted by VinylPlus demonstrates the safety of PVC for human health and the environment, VinylPlus will respond to the data gaps and concerns raised by ECHA.
The European Vinyl industry has a track record of proactively and successfully substituting hazardous additives such as Low Molecular Weight (LMW) phthalates and lead/cadmium-based stabilisers and shows industry leadership in continuing to improve the sustainability of additives used in PVC. VinylPlus efforts have made PVC safer, more sustainable, and more circular, as currently, around a third of PVC waste produced annually in Europe is recycled, and the industry is investing in collection, sorting, extraction and dissolution technologies, as well as chemical recycling technologies in order to identify and manage PVC waste containing legacy additives. By 2030, the industry aims to achieve 1 million tonnes per year of recycled PVC used in new products.
VinylPlus consistently advocates for a robust and science-based approach to ensure that materials such as PVC are regulated in a way that provides optimum protection of human health and the environment while giving our industry the necessary regulatory predictability to invest and innovate in sustainability performance to the benefit of society.
The European PVC value chain is fully committed to contributing to the success of the EU Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan through the beneficial use of PVC across products that are essential to modern life, including construction, transportation, and medical applications.