Articles & Case Studies

Recovinyl grows PVC recycling

Posted: Monday 1st October 2007

Recovinyl, the PVC-U industry’s recycling initiative, is looking for growth in recycling waste material from the UK’s horticultural sector. It is targeting PVC piping, particularly in the east of England where much of the industry is based, for recycling, rather than landfilling.

The campaign follows European-wide Recovinyl’s great success in the Netherlands where large volumes of post-use PVC from growers, such as irrigation pipes, have been recycled.

Campaign leader Peter McCutcheon says: “In the light of the Dutch success and given the size of the UK horticultural industry, we see great potential for recycling of end-of-life PVC materials, such as pipes and crates. Recycling incentives are available from Recovinyl, so interested companies should contact us for more information.

“As well as diverting a highly-recyclable material from landfill and saving on disposal costs, companies who recycle their waste PVC can differentiate their business activities by demonstrating their ‘green’ credentials to end users,” adds Peter.

Since its 2005 UK launch, the Recovinyl scheme has been a huge success and exceeded its targets year-on-year. Latest figures show it is set to exceed its 30,000 tonnes PVC-U recycling target for 2007, with more than 15,000 tonnes already recorded by the end of June.

The scheme encourages greater recycling of post-use plastic from items as diverse as end-of-life window and door frames to cable management products, flooring and pipes. Much of the plastic recyclate is successfully re-used in a variety of new products, including some high grade applications such as computers, thanks to advanced recycling techniques providing high quality reusable material.

Roger Morton, of Axion Recycling, Recovinyl’s UK agents, says: “As the PVC industry’s recycling initiative, Recovinyl is always seeking new sources of post-use PVC that can be successfully recycled, rather than expensively and pointlessly landfilled. There is an extensive network of Recovinyl-accredited collectors and recyclers who have invested in facilities to support recycling and make it happen.

“We also work with a number of manufacturers who are keen to include recycled content in their products, including horticultural, garden and leisure equipment. This is not only a sustainable and cost-effective re-use of PVC, but it is also the right thing to do for the environment,” adds Roger.

Dr Chris Wood, Secretary of the Commercial Horticultural Association, comments: “Recycling of post-use PVC material, such as pipes, is certainly something we would encourage. I would recommend our members to adopt procedures that would make this possible.”

His view is endorsed by Geoff Godber, Technical Director of Evesham-based Evenproducts Ltd, which supplied 20 kms of 32mm PVC irrigation pipes last year for Horticultural and amenity purposes. Geoff comments: “Anything that can be recycled economically has to be good for the environment and I would support a move for greater awareness of the need to recycle plastic into something useful and sustainable. This is already happening with items such as plant pots.”

Recovinyl is funded by the PVC industry body Vinyl 2010 formed to demonstrate commitment to sustainable development. It is backed by the British Plastics Federation and supported by the Waste and Resources Action Programme For more information, contact Axion Recycling on 0161 426 7731 or visit the website at

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