Recovering valuable raw materials in the city may initially sound rather bizarre but is actually considered to be a modern approach to the efficient extraction of resources that is better known as “urban mining” in the demolition industry. A recent project carried out as part of the „Aktion PVC-Recycling“ campaign in Marl (Germany) is evidence that the selective deconstruction of three multi-storey buildings has already been common and successful practice for quite some time.

Alongside large amounts of concrete and metals, the project enabled also 500 disused plastic windows and around 20 tons of PVC flooring to be recovered from the group of buildings dating back to the 1960s. Thanks to Rewindo’s plastics recycling partner Tönsmeier Kunststoffe, these old PVC windows were used to produce ground material that is used as a source material for high-quality granulate, that is nearly 100-percent homogeneous and serves as a raw material for the production of new window and building profiles.

The PVC flooring was also professionally processed using mechanical recycling at the facility run by the German Association for the Recycling of PVC Floor Coverings (AgPR) in Troisdorf. The fine PVC ground material obtained in these processes is used in applications such as the production of new vinyl flooring.

Cities are where an increasing majority of the world’s population will be living and working in the future and where the challenge to provide essential services – such as accommodation, water, food and healthcare – will be the greatest. The fourth edition of the Vinyl Sustainability Forum will address some of these challenges in Vienna, Austria, on 28th April 2016.

The 2016 Forum will provide an unique opportunity for VinylPlus’ members and their stakeholders to identify and explore the potentially growing opportunities worldwide for PVC to contribute to delivering essential human needs in a safe, responsible and cost-effective way. Discussion topics of the 2016 forum will cover innovative applications with recycled material, research & development, imaginative designs with PVC, the ingenious use of PVC products, creative solutions through partnering within the value chain or with other stakeholders and success stories from customers, specifiers, retailers or public administrations.

VinylPlus is currently calling for papers and presentations on the discussion topics. The Vinyl Sustainability Forum is an annual event organised by VinylPlus, the voluntary sustainable development programme of the European PVC industry. It aims at creating a long-term sustainability framework for the entire PVC value chain. The regional scope of the current 10-year programme is the EU-28 plus Norway and Switzerland. The Forum engages in an open and constructive dialogue on sustainability with a wide range of industry and external stakeholders. It brings together representatives of the entire PVC industry value chain as well as policy makers, consumer groups, retailers, architects and NGOs.

After being invited to talk at the General Meeting of the German Association for Manufacturers of Flexible Flooring (FEB), the AGPU Managing Director Thomas Hülsmann attended the event in Berlin early October and used the opportunity to present the work of the PVC experts from Bonn and promote active involvement in the working group. The FEB currently represents around 15 member companies and 20 supporting members. Most flooring manufacturers use PVC as their preferred material for their flooring products.

AGPU was also represented at the PVC Plastisols Conference at the SKZ in Würzburg. At the event, Thomas Hülsmann gave a talk in which he presented the importance and meaning of emotional stories and facts concerning PVC to participants and discussed the question of what is advancing the industry in the current environmental debate.

AGPU members have free access to the presentations and many thousand other documents in the PVC-Wiki knowledge database.

AGPU’s PVC Recycling Finder is still an extremely popular tool. This is not only proven by its increasing numbers of visitors, with a current total of over 5000 page visits pro quarter, but also the multitude of individual enquiries answered by the experts at the AGPU office in Bonn month after month.

After the last major revision of the website three years ago, AGPU has now again updated its information platform on buyers and suppliers of PVC waste, recycled material and recycled PVC products. Alongside a new user-friendlier design, the website’s database has also been further optimised. Now, users can not only find addresses, contact details, terms and conditions of acceptance and material specifications, but also information such as details on available certificates, which are becoming increasingly important in the competitive environment and are often stipulated as a prerequisite for business relations with converters. 61 recyclers are currently listed in the AGPU PVC Recycling Finder.

The Recycling Finder is additionally attracting a great deal of interest also from VinylPlus, which plans to set up its own system to make recycling more visible. Synergies can be used by all other partners and members of VinylPlus and AGPU who support the sustainable development of PVC.

In late September the second regional meeting of the „PVC Recyclers Meet PVC Processors“ series of events held by AGPU and VinylPlus took place in Stuttgart (Germany), hosted by Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK). The participants made the most of the opportunity to briefly present their products, services and requirements to possible business partners in person, to discuss details and to reach first agreements for possible cooperation. The meeting was yet again a success for all those involved.

The third and final event this year will take place at VEKA Umwelttechnik in Behringen (Germany) on 12th November. Several participants have already signed up to attend the meeting and AGPU is happy to accept further registrations. Please contact Ms Julia Gogos at the AGPU office for details.