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Wednesday, 22 November 2017 01:19

Developing Affordable Passive Houses

A new house in a Melbourne suburban street has demonstrated that affordable Passive House construction looks within reach in Australia.

Until now passive houses were priced well beyond the means of ordinary Australians, and scared off both builders and home buyers. But retirees Sue and Peter, builder RMH homes, passive house certifier Grun Consulting, and uPVC windows supplier VUE Windows have produced an elegant, spacious home that looks like any normal new build. Unlike those normal new builds, however, the home will produce stellar results in terms of thermal comfort and energy efficiency. In doing so, they have opened the door to more affordable, comfortable, high performing homes in Australia.

The house features an expansive wall consisting of 32.45 square metres of uPVC double glazed windows and doors across the north-facing living and kitchen areas, including openable fanlight windows at ceiling height for purging hot summer air.

The argon filled double glazed uPVC windows achieve excellent insulation value of Uw 1.37 and a solar heat gain co-efficiency (SHGC) of 0.58, allowing winter sunshine to penetrate but not too much solar radiation in summer.

Read the full article about this house, published in Sourceable.net.

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The Vinyl Council of Australia’s hugely-successful hospitals’ recycling scheme has been shortlisted in the Circular Economy category of the Banksia Foundation Awards 2017.

From its earliest beginnings in 2009, the scheme has overcome challenges to embrace more than 80 hospitals in Australia and 28 in New Zealand. IV bags, face masks and oxygen tubing are collected and recycled by two Vinyl Council members Baxter (multinational and Australian-based manufacturer of IV bags) and Welvic (Australian compounder).

Significant investment and commitment by these two companies and the Council has helped the PVC Recycling in Hospitals scheme to flourish and divert quality PVC from landfill into durable, locally-manufactured products. These include industrial and garden hose in Australia and children’s playground mats in New Zealand, which are exported to Australia and around the Pacific.

It is also being replicated round the world. For example, in the UK 11 hospitals are participating in the growing RecoMed PVC recycling scheme with high-quality medical grade plastic being recycled into horticultural products.

The Vinyl Council’s PVC Recycling Project Manager, Helen Millicer said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this sustainability award. In terms of significance, this Australian initiative shows that quality material from hospitals can be safely recovered and reprocessed to become durable, locally-made product in Australia and in other parts of the world.

“There is no limit to the demand for this high-quality material as a substitute for virgin in Australia and New Zealand. It’s a great step forward in terms of sustainability for PVC and the environment. It’s a valuable raw material resource that can be given a useful ‘second life’ in new products and that’s good news all round!”

The scheme is aiming to recycle a total of 2,500 tonnes per year throughout Australia. Currently, monthly PVC quantities from both hospitals and home patients (Australia & New Zealand) produces enough for 95 km of garden hose or 4500 cushioned play mats for children’s playgrounds. This displaces 14 tonnes a month of imported PVC resin and additives, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with the PVC in new products by 80 percent.

Winners will be announced at the Banksia Awards ceremony in Sydney on 1 November.


Published in News Archive
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 01:04

New recycling strategy for PVC in Australia

New recycling strategy for PVC in Australia

The Vinyl Council has updated its industry strategy aimed at facilitating growth in sustainable PVC recycling practices in Australia. 

Developed through consultations with members, industry and government, and at the PVC ReSource Summit held in late 2015, the strategy will direct future actions of the Vinyl Council and the sector.

PVC - the third most commonly used polymer in Australia - is recyclable, however, results show that only low volumes of PVC wastes are recovered, largely because most PVC is used in durable products, and less in packaging (which is where most waste and recycling policies and resources are focussed).

The VCA estimates around 66,900 tonnes of recyclable PVC product goes to landfill each year. This is wasted material that could be reprocessed into new quality product by Australian workers and firms, improving Australian productivity, economy and the environment.

The VCA and its members are committed to advancing PVC recycling and reprocessing. The updated industry strategy aims to address barriers, to share knowledge, data and expertise and to encourage innovation of reprocessing, product design and recycling capability.

Key elements in the 2016 Strategy

There are six parts to the strategy and three especially form the foundation: 

  1. Data and information. More data and knowledge are required for effective recycling of PVC.
  2. Collaboration between willing partners to drive change. Systemic change requires partners working together, and strong PVC reprocessing capability is required in all key States.
  3. End markets, without which there is no viable recycling practice. This requires building connections between demand and supply, development of appropriate recyclate-absorbing products and encouraging substitution of virgin or other less sustainable materials.

The VCA has established successful vinyl recylcing programs including the PVC Recycling in Hospitals program which is now in place at over 60 Australian hospitlas. The VCA thanks all those who contribute to the success of PVC recycling in Australia and looks forward to working with many to achieve the actions for improved results for Australia's recycling rate, productivity and manufacturing future. 

For more detail on the Strategy contact the Vinyl Council's This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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