New record in PVC stewardship compliance

More than half of the signatories participating in the Australian PVC Stewardship Program (PSP) have reached full compliance with sustainability objectives, according to latest data.

Sophi MacMillan, Vinyl Council of Australia Chief Executive, said 24 of 47 companies had attained gold status following their latest assessment of annual performance. A further 14 companies reached silver status, ensuring that 83 per cent of all signatories achieved 80 per cent compliance or better; one of the key benchmarks set by the program for greater sustainability.

The Andrews Group, Breathe Fresh, Sekisui Rib Loc, and Stormtech attained gold status for the first time.

It comes as consumption of PVC recyclate continues to increase. Australian manufacturing signatories consumed more than 1400 tonnes of recycled PVC in 2020, up from about 776 tonnes in 2019. Since 2016, almost 13,400 tonnes have been used in Signatories’ locally-made and imported products.

The council’s PVC Recycling in Hospitals scheme, operated with Baxter Healthcare and Welvic Australia, now has more than 250 participants across the country recovering PVC medical waste for local recycling. In 2020, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program collected 129 tonnes of medical PVC recyclate  – equivalent to about 6.45 million IV bags.

In late 2020 the council, in collaboration with the Specialised Textiles Association, secured a $350,000 Federal Government Product Stewardship Investment grant for the TexBack project to explore development of technology solutions and a stewardship program for PVC-polyester composite textile wastes

MacMillan said the PSP also drives industry’s commitment to the safe and sustainable use of additives, including no use of hazardous substances such as lead, cadmium, and hexavalent chrome. All relevant signatories attained full compliance with this commitment in 2020.

The PSP program addresses measurable commitments across five key themes associated with the life cycle of PVC: best practice manufacturing, safe and sustainable use of additives, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions, resource efficiency, and transparency and engagement.

MacMillan said, in 2020, many signatories exceeded compliance in relation to energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission management commitments. The council is this year looking at driving further improvement in response to rising concerns about climate change and fossil fuel consumption.

The PVC Stewardship Program is open to any company manufacturing or supplying PVC, or vinyl, products to the Australian market.

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