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Circular economy

The Olympic PVC was recycled using the so-called Vinyloop process, a method of breaking the plastic apart so it can be reformed for other uses, devised by Solvin and French manufacturing group Serge Ferrari.
Tonnes of the collected PVC are separated using heat and different solvents, which depend on the plastics’ composite materials, such as textiles, glass or paper. The non-plastic residues are then burned and the heat redirected back into the process.

The PVC is then left at something approaching the newly produced ‘virgin’ material. “The product can be recycled about seven times but after that you need extra additives,” Verlaine told reporters during a Solvin factory visit last week.

The PVC industry, gathered together under the VinylPlus programme, has a target to recycle at least 800,000 tonnes of PVC every year by 2020. Last year just over 360,000 tonnes were recycled under VinylPlus.
But an issue for the industry is that recycled PVC fetches a lower price on average than in its virgin form.

European consumption of plastics is growing by 5% every year, sparking worries that their environmental impact will get worse.

Europe still landfills or incinerates 60% of its waste, much of it plastic. Burning plastics for fuel comes with its own environmental baggage, as it releases large amounts of CO2 and other chemicals into the air, analysts say.

However, the Commission says that recycling plastic may hold enormous benefits for the European economy, estimating the creation of 15.6 jobs per 1000 tonnes of material processed. A 2010 report by Friends of the Earth predicted that increasing the plastics recycling rate to 70% could create 162,000 new jobs across the EU by 2020.

“Targets are still a useful driver for investment in better waste management, but the real driver leading us towards a circular economy is the economic rationale for treating our waste as a resource,” Potočnik said.

The Olympic PVC was recycled using the so-called Vinyloop process, a method of breaking the plastic apart so it can be reformed for other uses, devised by Solvin and French manufacturing group Serge Ferrari.
Tonnes of the collected PVC are separated using heat and different solvents, which depend on the plastics’ composite materials, such as textiles, glass or paper. The non-plastic residues are then burned and the heat redirected back into the process.

The PVC is then left at something approaching the newly produced ‘virgin’ material. “The product can be recycled about seven times but after that you need extra additives,” Verlaine told reporters during a Solvin factory visit last week.

The PVC industry, gathered together under the VinylPlus programme, has a target to recycle at least 800,000 tonnes of PVC every year by 2020. Last year just over 360,000 tonnes were recycled under VinylPlus.
But an issue for the industry is that recycled PVC fetches a lower price on average than in its virgin form.

European consumption of plastics is growing by 5% every year, sparking worries that their environmental impact will get worse.

Europe still landfills or incinerates 60% of its waste, much of it plastic. Burning plastics for fuel comes with its own environmental baggage, as it releases large amounts of CO2 and other chemicals into the air, analysts say.

However, the Commission says that recycling plastic may hold enormous benefits for the European economy, estimating the creation of 15.6 jobs per 1000 tonnes of material processed. A 2010 report by Friends of the Earth predicted that increasing the plastics recycling rate to 70% could create 162,000 new jobs across the EU by 2020.

“Targets are still a useful driver for investment in better waste management, but the real driver leading us towards a circular economy is the economic rationale for treating our waste as a resource,” Potočnik said.

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