The European Union should encourage the recycling of PVC to reduce its environmental impact, a life-cycle assessment on PVC written for the European Commission has claimed.
Undertaken by a research consortium led by German consultancy PE Europe, the report stated that only a small proportion of PVC consumer waste was currently recycled.
However, this was increasingly economically feasible, said the paper, given the development of new technologies, such as mechanical recycling based on selective dissolution.
Given a healthy plastics recycling market has yet to develop in Europe, a mixture of mechanical recycling, energy recovery and chemical (feedstock) recycling, was likely to prove most effective, it said.
This would help deal with the continuing refusal of consumers to accept recycled PVC with poorer colour or surface qualities, even if its durability and strength was the same as virgin PVC.
Greenpeace believes PVC use should be reduced if recycling waste is not feasible.