Although the only restriction presently being considered is limited to consumer products that children can put in the mouth, VinylPlus wanted to assess the impact that a potential restriction on all PVC products would have on recycling.

Social, economic and environmental impacts related to these potential policy scenarios were assessed over the entire lifecycle of PVC profiles, pipes and fittings, flooring, roofing and electrical cables. These are key applications which are known to have contained lead in the past and which today are being recycled into significant amounts of new articles. 

Tauw’s study shows that a potential restriction of a maximum lead content of 0.1 % would result in significant negative impacts on Europe’s economy (loss of jobs, fewer companies) and the environment (less recycling, more CO2-emissions, more resources used), without making a difference with regards to human health. On the other hand, a restriction with an exemption for construction products with a maximum lead content of 1%  would allow continuing to develop PVC recycling, creating jobs and reducing CO2-emissions and resource consumption.