European Parliament's vote to block the use of recycled PVC goes against ECHA’s opinion and the Circular Economy

12 Feb 2020

VinylPlus®, the voluntary commitment to sustainable development of the European PVC industry, regrets the outcome of today’s vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg concerning the proposed derogation for the continuous use of recycled PVC containing legacy lead substances. This vote contradicts the outcome of the rigorous scientific evaluation carried out over the last five years by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) which concluded that continued recycling is currently the best waste management option for PVC wastes containing such additives. See ECHA’s opinion here.

In the absence of any alternative solution, the logic of today’s vote is that many end-of-life PVC articles from long-life applications will have to be disposed of by incineration or landfill, leading to a much higher environmental burden for the next generations. The vote also implies delaying the restriction on the imports of lead containing PVC articles to Europe. The resulting legislative uncertainty jeopardises the investment in recycling technology, undermines the European strategy for plastics in Circular Economy and impacts considerably the ability to reach the recycling targets of the European Circular Plastics Alliance.

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