The PVC industry’s recycling scheme estimates that more than one million PVC-U post-consumer window frames are being recycled in the UK every year, enough to supply nearly 90% of new houses and flats.
Latest audited figures from the Recovinyl programme show that end-of-life windows and profiles comprised 25,480 tonnes (52%) of the total 48,544 tonnes of waste PVC recycled in 2011.
Recovinyl estimates that this material equates to roughly 1.25 million frames – enough to make replacement windows for around 122,000 houses and flats out of the 137,000 dwellings built in the UK during 2011.
Jason Leadbitter, chairman of industry body VinylPlus Controlled Loop Committee, said: “We are not claiming that all the one million window frames are being manufactured into new window frames, but more than one million window frames are being recycled into second-life products for long-term use in the construction industry.”
Godfrey Arnold, of PVC market research company D&G Consulting, said: “These statistics present a very positive picture of the PVC industry’s recycling success. Given the growing demand for recycled content in new PVC products, we can only expect these volumes to rise in the future.”
Recycled PVC-U content is increasingly used in a variety of building products, from cladding and roofline products to reinforcement for PVC-U windows. Other materials collected and recycled through the Recovinyl programme included pipes and fittings, cables, flexible PVC and rigid PVC films.