The parliamentary group of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) in the Bavarian State Parliament recently submitted an urgency motion (document 17/5007 from 28.01.2015) calling for the State Parliament to resolve to commit to achieving a general ban, at national and international levels, on bisphenol A (BPA) in all food packaging, children’s toys and thermal papers. The parliamentary group pf the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) responded to this motion by submitting a countermotion (document 17/5019 from 29.01.2015) demanding that the State Government commit to achieving a lowering of the threshold value for BPA in the European Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC on the basis of the re-evaluation of BPA carried out by the EFSA on 21st January 2015. The motion also demands that a preventive ban on BPA in children’s toys be considered. This motion has been approved.

The motion will first be processed by the Committee for Health and Care. It will then be passed on to the Committee for the Environment and Consumer Protection for approval before being discussed in the plenum so that a resolution can be passed.

Which facade and window materials are really sustainable? This question formed the focus of a comprehensive study conducted on behalf of the European Aluminium Association. The results of this study were recently presented for the first time in perfect timing with the BAU 2015 specialist trade fair for architecture, materials and systems. According to the consultancies that conducted the study, Drees & Sommer and PE International, the aim of the investigation was to use recognised and practice-oriented criteria to compare the sustainable impact of materials typically used in facade and window construction, namely aluminium, wood and PVC.

The study reveals that none of these materials is able to consistently achieve the best sustainability results for all criteria. It also states that all of the materials achieved a similar overall result. Compared to the other materials studied, PVC material was particularly successful with regard to life-cycle costs, recording the lowest values in this category. A summary of the study can be downloaded for free from the PVC WIKI.

The German Federal Government has now produced a regulation proposal that aims to allow fracking in Germany. This draft is, however, facing criticism from environmental associations, which claim that it is incomplete and risky. According to these associations, the government should focus on the implementation of the energy transition instead of researching further fossil resources. Although the debate on fracking went back and forth for a long time, the decision has now been made to allow the extraction of gas in Germany using the controversial mining method. The new directive from the German Federal Government states that fracking will be permitted in individual cases under certain conditions.

According to a report published on the website EurActiv, the German Federal Minister for the Environment, Barbara Hendricks, has done everything possible to dispel doubts over the controversial gas extraction technology. The report quotes the SPD politician as saying that „in this bill, we are presenting the strictest regulations ever to be stipulated in the field of fracking“. She goes on to explain that fracking will only be permitted under the strictest of conditions giving top priority to the environment and drinking water and that this will not apply until 2019 at the earliest because experience still needs to be gained from trial drillings up to this point. Fracking activities in water and nature protection areas are also a no-go.

AGPU Media uses its Soft PVC Communication Campaign to help its customers to confidently present themselves as reliable partners for flexible PVC products. This year, a total of eleven companies are involved in the various marketing measures being carried out as part of the campaign, which started in 2011 with four companies. As was the case in 2014, this year’s campaign continues to focus on events held with architects and decision-makers in the field of municipal construction, at which sponsors of the campaign are able to come together with important decision-makers. These measures and events are accompanied by advertisements published in relevant specialist media. One project being implemented as part of the campaign is focusing on the use of soft PVC products in the field of health care and has now welcomed another six flooring manufacturers.

Would you like to receive more information on the current Soft PVC Communication Campaign? If so, please feel free to contact us.

At the beginning of December, AGPU conducted an online survey concerning its external image on behalf of the Communication Working Group and after consulting its Managing Board. The survey was sent to a total of 1029 individuals, of which 361 were AGPU members and 668 non-members. Responses were received from 75 participants, namely 45 members and 30 non-members. The survey results reveal that as an „Industry Network“, AGPU was awarded a mark of 1.1 (on a scale of 1-5) by its members (and 2.0 by non-members), while its „Combined Knowledge“ achieved a mark of 1.7 (1.8) and its „Open Dialogue“ was awarded a mark of 1.2 (1.7). These results show that the readjustment implemented by the working group is having an effect and attracting attention.

We would like to thank all survey participants. The detailed results of the survey were presented by the AGPU Managing Director, Thomas Hülsmann, at the PVC and the Environment workshop at the beginning of January. This presentation can be downloaded from the „Events“ section of the member area of the PVC WIKI.