How are window profiles recycled?
For EPPA recycling of used PVC windows is a key issue either in terms of energy and resource efficiency or circular economy. Please take a look at the video below which briefly explains how the recycling process works.
Recycling and the European legal situation
PVC windows can be fully recycled re-inserting the so gained recyclate into new PVC windows. Yet, this process is endangered by the regulatory barriers that have to be removed for the sake of both, safety & health as well as for the economic value created. Therefore, we are working to find a legislative solution that allows our industry to continue the usage of recyclate in their products while at the same time looking to protect the environment and human health to the greatest extent possible.
Although recycling is preferred over thermal recovery (i.e. incineration or energy recovery) not only by our industry but also by the European legislator, the current legal situation is leading to increasing incineration rates. The more recycling is hindered, the more burning is favoured. It should be realized that the incineration of valuable, high quality PVC is a waste of material that needs to be avoided. Instead of favouring quick-wins gained though incineration, collection schemes should be put into place that allow for a truly circular economy of PVC.
In this context, it is underlined that we carefully respect the issue of legacy additives. We are sure, that PVC window profiles do not generate any risk to consumers, even when recycled PVC is used. Evidence on this fact is given by sound scientific studies.
What are EPPA’s proposals?
Recycling should be favoured as a key activity in a circular economy
Legal barriers to recycling should be removed and European harmonization should be favoured
Collection schemes should be implemented across Europe as to facilitate recycling.
To find out more of EPPA’s recycling schemes and to illustrate how PVC windows are fully recyclable, see videos below (in german).