PVC ConfSajjad Karim MEP delivering the keynote speech at the BPF's annual PVC seminar in Manchester
Sajjad Karim MEP has applauded the work of initiatives such as VinylPlus in getting issues regarding PVC heard and addressed.
Delivering the keynote speech at the BPF’s annual PVC conference in Manchester, Karim said that the UK Government was “committed to delivering change” for industry, but admitted that sometimes the time taken for change to happen was too slow.
When questioned about the image of PVC being damaged in games of “political football” when directives are redrafted and revised, Karim said it was “somewhat unfair”, but that debates over its use only served to reinforce the importance of positive messages such as those from the Vinyl 2010 and VinylPlus agreements.
Delegates from the PVC industry later heard Brigitee Dero of the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM) give an update on the progress of VinylPlus, in which she said she is “convinced that we as an industry are on the right path to achieve the sustainability directives” set by the initiative.
Jason Leadbitter of Ineos ChlorVinyls addressed the responsible sourcing of PVC products and how to establish a VinylPlus ‘label’ that would convey both trust and a guarantee of a product’s integrity in manufacture.
“Would it not be a game changer for us if the PVC industry won consumers over with a label,” Leadbitter asked delegates. “Such a label goes hand-in-hand with the VinylPlus commitment, and I see it much more as an opportunity to our industry that a threat. However, we would need to value it and ensure our customers value it. The key to this is communication.”
Jane Gardner of Recovinyl spoke about the "positive legacy of PVC" as a result of its use at the London 2012 Olympics. She said that the Games had “set the standard for PVC quality” and using this standard in construction projects going forward would “benefit the industry considerably.”
Chris Howick of INEOS ChlorVinyls highlighted the impact the REACH directive has on PVC formulation costs, stating that there are “many milestones yet to come” for the industry and with those milestones would be a host of “unavoidable” associated costs, paperwork and research.
Delegates also heard case studies from Epwin, Altro Floors, Fife Council and Soundforms that covered case studies involving successful recycling, implementation and replacement of PVC over other materials as a way of increasing and enhancing efficiency, as well as those showing the versatility and design potential of PVC through its use in innovative projects.
At the event the BPF’s Vinyls Group launched a new, pocket-sized leaflet designed as a communications tool for the industry, specifying 12 key benefits of using PVC. The leaflet provides supporting data, which the BPF says is designed so companies can use for internal briefings and to give to their customers in order to create “PVC ambassadors” that can help reinforce a positive message about its use.