By the year 2020, the PVC industry aims to achieve an annual recycling volume of 800,000 tons within the framework of the European sustainability programme VinylPlus. With approximately 100,000 tons of regrind material from profile sections and scrap PVC windows, doors and roller shutters, the company Rewindo and its recycling partners yet again made an important contribution towards this target in Germany in the year 2014. „We were able to achieve a particularly significant increase in terms of the recycling of scrap windows and recorded growth in double figures compared to 2013 with a total of over 24,800 tons of PVC regrind material“, declares the AGPU recycling expert and Rewindo Managing Director Michael Vetter. Calculations made using the Online CO2 Calculator provided by the company DEKRA revealed that every ton of recycled PVC material used prevents approximately 1.87 tons of CO2 emissions compared to primary PVC material.

According to the recycling expert, the quality of this recycled material is just as high as that of new PVC material in terms of mechanical properties. Rewindo also expects its annual recycling quantities to continue to increase over the next few years. The requirements of both the EU Building Directive and national regulations such as the German Energy Savings Ordinance (EnEV 2014) have led to energy-efficient renovations of existing residential buildings on a larger scale. The replacement of old windows involved in such renovation work normally forms part of the thermal insulation concept.

The new volume flow record, „Kunststofffenster-Recycling in Zahlen 2014“ (‚Plastic Window Recycling in Numbers 2014‘), can be downloaded from the Rewindo website.

The renovation of residential buildings is an important step when it comes to energy savings and climate protection. A recent example of such renovation work is the modernisation of eight blocks of flats, each containing 194 flats, in the „Bissierstrasse“ street in the Betzenhausen district of the German city of Freiburg. During this modernisation, a total of 1500 old PVC windows will be replaced with new heat-insulating PVC windows within a period of 80 days. The scrap windows will then be processed using mechanical recycling as part of the collection system operated throughout Germany by the window recycling system of Rewindo Fenster-Recycling-Service GmbH in the German city of Bonn, with the raw material recovered in this recycling process being made available for reuse in the production of new window and building profiles.

According to Gerald Feigenbutz, the Managing Director of the European PVC Window Profile and Related Building Products Association (EPPA), this major recycling project is a „beacon“ that acts as additional proof that closed loop recycling management is functioning well in Europe and provides a number of benefits for all parties involved.

Both the current recycling project in Freiburg and Europe’s largest recycling project involving 2500 scrap PVC windows in the German city of Norderstedt near Hamburg are being supported by Rewindo and EPPA. Over the past few years, AGPU has combined forces with Rewindo to organise the German „Environmentally Friendly Modernisation“ competition. The two current projects mentioned above and this competition are important examples that demonstrate the successful use of PVC recycling. It is essential that this success is constantly made clear to decision-makers in the world of politics and in public authorities in order to further increase the acceptance of PVC recycling activities.