VinylPlus at work

According to the principles of a circular economy described in the European Union’s roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe and the Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan, companies have to re-think and re-design their products and processes to reduce raw materials and energy consumption, extend their life-cycle, and re-use and recycle as much as possible. The PVC industry is no exception and programmes like VinylPlus are perfectly aligned to the “do-more-with-less” school of thought.

This is a non-exhaustive selection of best practice examples developed within the framework of the VinylPlus programme showing that we don’t just talk the talk, we also walk the walk.

A holistic approach

Through a special recycling process, non-woven, woven or textile lamination are separated from sheets made from soft PVC.

Then it separates the different materials from each other to turn these into sustainable raw materials for production purposes. Their main PVC-P (plasticised PVC) products include floor screed films, insulation mats, sound absorbing foils and damp-proof wall barriers.

Caretta ( has chosen the path of a direct partnership with the German plastics processors' associations and industry, and together found a way to recycle plastic waste materials up to 100%.

The company's Managing Director, Patrick Fertich, decided to begin producing PVC-films from recycled PVC-P.

Approximately 2,500 tonnes of hard to separate soft PVC material, lined with fleece, woven fabric or polyester, are returned to the production cycle each year.

The plastic waste material is collected directly at the point of origin and subjected to mechanical processing. Recyclable materials clad with fleece, fabric or textiles are poured into a shredder from above and chopped into sections approximately 4 - 6 cm long. The system is geared to deliver 1,000 kg of output per hour. The shredded sections are then processed into granulate via a conveyor belt that is coupled to the volume intended for further processing. The screen used determines the grain size.

Large diameters to overcome large challenges

Water management is a key issue in a planet expected to be home for 9 billion people by 2050.

The PVC industry is responding with innovative solutions to global megatrends, including the growing demand for water, energy and resource efficiency amid difficult economic times. Very aware of the need to address this huge challenge, the Spanish company Molecor ( has developed ground-breaking technology to produce the largest PVC-O pipe in the world.

Outstanding properties such as pressure and impact resistance, hydraulic capacity, lightness and low maintenance are available in these large diameters, suitable for main networks of fresh water distribution.

The new piping is based on hot air that saves energy during the bi-orientation process. This means less energy consumption during the manufacturing of these pipes. As explained by Ignacio Muñoz, CEO of Molecor TECH, his company has also developed a system of joints between pipes ensuring the dependability of any water network.

Relaxing in style

Eco-design is an innovative sector full of potential to introduce the use of recyclates. Aware of PVC's potential, Swiss designer Cédric Carles ( conceived a chair made from extruded, calendered sheets.

His creation is a model of eco-design; it can be completely disassembled and it uses Pevetex® fabric and stainless steel tubing and screws that are completely recyclable. It's suitable for use indoors and outdoors.

This relaxing chair is made by calendering a thick PVC sheet mixed with Pevetex®, which comes from waste. The PVC textile sheet, produced by RENOLIT, is supported by fabric obtained by the densification procedure of Chaize, a Recovinyl network member. In this particular case, the PVC waste comes from end-of-life vehicle upholstery.