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Vinyls Association to investigate PVC recycling

Annabé Pretorius of Plastix 911 has been appointed by the Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) to conduct the first ever survey into the state, scope and size of PVC recycling in South Africa.
Vinyls Association to investigate PVC recycling
© Kathleen Ellis -

"Both rigid and flexible PVC products are ideal for in-house and pre-consumer recycling. We know that factories and manufacturers recycle their factory waste products instead of sending it to landfill. However, we need to find out exactly how big the markets are and what amounts are being recycled in order to have more credible data when speaking to government about national projects and negotiating for funding," explains Delanie Bezuidenhout, CEO of SAVA.

Each year,Pretorius is tasked by Plastics|SA with the responsibility of researching the amount of plastics being produced and recycled in the country. However, products made from vinyl have traditionally been included with other types of plastics.

"We are hoping that this survey will be finalised by the end of March 2015 and provide us with an average figure that will be our base line for recycling surveys in the future," Bezuidenhout says.

Market too small

"According to the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation, there are approximately 40 recyclers around South Africa that recycle PVC products. These sites all focus on building and construction products, as the market for post-consumer vinyl packaging is currently too small to make it economically viable for them," Pretorius explains.

SAVA will be reporting on the recycling of all locally manufactured PVC products, ranging from pipes to gumboots, from floors to wiring and medical applications. "We expect that this will be one of the challenges we come up against when comparing our figures with the rest of the world. Very few countries report on all PVC products, but choose instead to focus on one or two products that have a good recycling and recovery rate, such as PVC pipe and cable for example. We are therefore expecting that our figures will be lower than the rest of the world, but it has to be seen in the context of looking at an entire market," Bezuidenhout says.

Confidential questions

Raw material suppliers and compound producers will also be contacted personally as part of the survey. Each company will receive the list of confidential questions ahead of time so that they can see the type of information SAVA is looking for.

The answers and feedback received from respondents will be kept in the strictest confidence. "SAVA will not see these answers, but will only receive the consolidated information that we will provide once all the interviews have taken place and the data processed," Pretorius explains.

"We are very excited about this survey and look forward to receiving the results. By knowing the size of the market and the challenges they face, we will be able to provide better support and have stronger bargaining power when fighting for the future of the PVC industry," Bezuidenhout concludes.

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