The European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM) represents the six leading European PVC resin manufacturers, accounting for around 75% of the PVC resin manufactured in Europe. ECVM is a division of PlasticsEurope, the trade association representing the plastic manufacturers in Europe.
A founding member of VinylPlus®, ECVM is committed to sustainable development, and to address and promote health safety and environmental best practices over the PVC life cycle.
First produced commercially in the late 1920s, polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, has become one of the most widely used polymers in the world. Because of its versatility, PVC is used across a broad range of industrial, technical and everyday applications from window profiles and pipes over cables to life-saving medical devices.
PVC has always been regarded as a resource-efficient material. The polymer is made from 57% chlorine and only 43% oil or natural gas. The chlorine part is derived from common salt, an abundant resource. PVC is also highly durable and energy-efficient across a range of applications which makes for an effective use of raw materials and avoids unnecessary depletion of natural resources.
Viewed across its life cycle, PVC is highly competitive in terms of its environmental impact. Several recent eco-efficiency and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies on the most common applications show that, in terms of energy requirements and GWP (Global Warming Potential), PVC is at least equal to alternative products. In many cases, it shows advantages both in terms of total energy consumption and lower CO2 emissions.
A unique advantage of PVC compared to other materials is the possibility of changing the formulation, to improve the safety and eco-efficiency of the final product, while maintaining the same level of technical performance.PVC is easily recyclable and each year around 740.000 tonnes of PVC are recycled in Europe through the VinylPlus® programme.
VinylPlus® is the Voluntary Commitment to sustainable development by the European PVC industry. The programme establishes a long-term framework for the sustainable development of the PVC industry by tackling a number of critical challenges in the EU-28, Norway and Switzerland. ECVM is a founding partner of VinylPlus.
Thanks to VinylPlus’ unique role in engaging an entire value chain, the voluntary commitment has succeeded in recycling about 5 million tonnes of PVC since 2000. Ensuring targets are met is of paramount importance to VinylPlus’ success. Recycled volumes are verified by an independent auditor and presented to the VinylPlus Monitoring Committee, composed of representatives of the European Commission, European Parliament, consumer organisations, trade unions, academia and industry.
Supporters of VinylPlus come from a wide-range of backgrounds. See for instance what Martina Dlabajová, Member of the European Parliament, says about the voluntary commitment.