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The Vinyl Council of Australia welcomes the findings of a new report that shows stronger energy standards in Australia’s National Construction Code can be delivered cost-effectively for new home owners and will help Australia cut its carbon emissions.

The report, Built to Perform: An Industry Led Pathway to a Zero Carbon Ready Building Code, prepared by the Australian SustainableBuilt Environment Council (ASBEC) and ClimateWorks Australia, analysed and identified measures that would be cost-effective in improving the energy efficiency of buildings relative to the upfront investment cost.

By 2030, improvement in Code energy requirements could deliver between 19 and 25 per cent of the energy savings required to achieve net zero energy in new residential buildings through simple, cost-effective measures such as improved air tightness, double glazed windows, increased insulation, outdoor shading, and more efficient air conditioners, hot water systems and lighting.

Although there are upfront costs associated with these improvements, they are small (less than 4% for detached homes) relative to overall construction costs and land prices while providing ongoing benefit for occupants.

“Australia lags other regions around the world in terms of building energy efficient homes” Vinyl Council Chief Executive, Sophi MacMillan said. “All of the buildings being built today will still be in use in 2050, potentially locking in poor performance at a time when much of the world will be at or near net zero emissions if current target projections are met.”

“We are particularly concerned by the continued use of very low performing windows in a country that loves large windows in its houses. Built to Perform is important in showing there are cost effective measures, such as double glazing, we can – and should – be implementing from today.”

The Vinyl Council also supports the proposition in the report that targets and a forward trajectory are set for future Building Code updates from 2019, with a clear and transparent process for implementation and adjustment over time.

“This approach would provide the certainty industries like ours – supplying thermally efficient uPVC windows and other building products - need to innovate and invest, so as to supply the economic products that higher performing buildings need”, Sophi explained. “This will support a rapid and least-cost, national transition to net zero.”

“Built to Perform clearly shows that cost-effective investment can be made from today to deliver long term improvements in residential energy demand and greenhouse emissions.”

Built to Perform provides industry-based evidence that the Code could, between now and 2050, reduce energy bills by up to $27 billion, cut energy network costs by up to $7 billion and deliver at least 78 million tonnes of cumulative emissions savings.

About the report
Built to Perform: An Industry Led Pathway to a Zero Carbon Ready Building Code presents the results of the Building Code Energy Performance Trajectory project, which quantifies the opportunities of establishing a clear, consistent and ambitious long-term plan for the energy requirements in the National Construction Code.  The report modelled eight different building types across four climate zones. It investigated the costs and benefits to society of simple energy efficiency and on-site renewable energy opportunities. The analysis assessed upfront costs associated with improvements, as well as benefits from reduced energy bills, downsizing of heating, cooling and ventilation equipment, and reduced network costs.

This report was produced with the generous support of the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living, the RACV and dozens of building industry and government partners. The project has been delivered in partnership with CSIRO, Energy Action (EA), Strategy. Policy. Research. (SPR) and the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre at the University of Wollongong (UOW).

The Vinyl Council of Australia is a member of ASBEC and one of the report’s industry partners.

There is a growing requirement for product suppliers to scrutinise and manage not just their own company’s environmental, social and safety performance, but also that of their supply chain – a highly complex task for most, but necessary if they are to manage and address risk adequately. 
The Vinyl Council of Australia took steps 16 years ago to start educating and guiding the local vinyl, or PVC, industry to become stewards of their products through the whole product life cycle and is delighted to announce that a record 17 companies have achieved PVC Stewardship Excellence this year. 
This means these companies achieved perfect scores in compliance with a set of stringent criteria related to the production and supply of their vinyl-related products in 2017. 
Launched in 2002, the Australian PVC Stewardship Program binds Signatories to continuous improvement in the environmental footprint of their products, whether they manufacture locally or source product from overseas. In fact, the PVC supply chain for all companies in Australia is global, since local manufacturers must import the resin raw material. 
This sets particular challenges for Signatories in obtaining information from overseas suppliers related to the production of the raw materials they source or supply. Importers and distributors of finished products are required to engage with their entire value chain overseas to secure the necessary data and information to demonstrate compliance with the Program.
The Program requires Signatories to report annually against the criteria; each company’s performance is measured and benchmarked against the industry. All of the Signatories in 2017 achieved at compliance with at least half of the commitments relevant to their business, and over three quarters achieved a compliance rate of at least 80 percent. The stewardship commitments and targets relate to: 
• Best Practice Manufacturing, including raw material sourcing
• Safe and Sustainable Use of Additives 
• Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of PVC product manufacturers 
• Resource Efficiency and 
• Transparency and Engagement.
The Vinyl Council’s PVC Stewardship Manager, Ms Laveen Dhillon congratulated the 17 companies. “All have excelled, but ten of this year’s Excellence Award recipients are receiving this award for the first time,” she explained, “including two Signatories who only joined the program in 2017.” 
“These Signatories worked with the Vinyl Council to map out their entire supply chain so as to address relevant program commitments. All the Award recipients should be recognised as industry leaders who have worked in collaboration with their supply chains to meet and exceed program goals” Laveen said.
Signatories are required to review their product supply chain and verify that they or their upstream suppliers meet the environmental, health and safety standards set by the Program for raw material sourcing, use of recyclate, as well as meet local manufacturing. 
Laveen explained: “Transparency through the supply chain is essential to improve efficiency, reduce impact and track the practices of suppliers. One Signatory reported finding that communication and credibility among its suppliers has improved each year, as it has repeatedly requested stewardship information. We hope transparency and engagement continues to improve in this way.” 
Award recipients are recognised at an industry Awards Dinner and receive the 2017-18 PVC Stewardship Excellence licence mark.
   2017 18 excellence
Winners of the 2017 Excellence in PVC Stewardship Awards include:
Australian Plastic Profiles,  
Australian Vinyls Corporation
Baxter Healthcare 
Chemiplas Australia
Chemson Pacific 
Formosa Plastics Corporation, Taiwan
Iplex Pipelines Australia
Primaplas Australia
PT Asahimas Chemical, Indonesia
RBM Plastics Extrusions (new signatory in 2017)
Serge Ferrari (new signatory in 2017)
Sun Ace Australia 
Speciality Polymers and Chemicals 
Tarkett Australia 
Techplas Extrusions 
Information on the Program
The PVC Stewardship Program, now in its 16th year, is well supported by the Australian vinyl industry. In 2017, a record number from the vinyl value chain (44 companies) committed to meet measurable targets and obligations that reduce the environmental footprint of PVC products in Australia, whether manufactured here or overseas. 
Signatories to the program are from all parts of the value chain including resin producers, raw material manufacturers and suppliers, trading companies, product manufacturers and distributors and recyclers. 
The program was recently recognised by an independent product stewardship consultant, as being one of the longest standing product stewardship programs in Australia and one of the few with a full life cycle approach. It was found to be leading in areas such as its life cycle approach, specific and measurable commitments, transparency and focus on continuous improvement. 
For the 2017 Progress Report, Ernst & Young conducted limited assurance in relation to verifying the data submissions of ten reporting companies and the annual report.
View the  annual progress report, or for more information on the PVC Stewardship Program contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Vinyl Council of Australia aims to expand its successful PVC Recycling in Hospitals program to cover 150 hospitals by the end of 2018.

Since its launch in 2009, the innovative waste management and recycling program has grown to operate in 138 hospitals throughout Australia and New Zealand. It is managed by the Vinyl Council of Australia and its member partners – Baxter Healthcare, Aces Medical Waste and Welvic Australia.

Over the past year, more than 200 tonnes of high-grade PVC waste from hospitals has been diverted from landfill to recycling. This material is redirected to reprocessors in Australia. Australian and New Zealand manufacturers use the recycled polymer in new goods, such as garden hoses and outdoor playground matting.

The program partners are also exploring design of new product applications to accept the growing volume of recyclate generated through the thriving program.

Commenting on their target, Vinyl Council Chief Executive Sophi MacMillan says: “Thanks to great support and enthusiasm from healthcare professionals, the PVC Recycling in Hospitals program is now operating in every state in Australia except the Northern Territory.

“It’s a great example of how the healthcare sector can demonstrate leadership in PVC sustainability and recover high quality material that can be genuinely recycled locally for use in new products. We are currently looking at further end product applications for the recyclate.

“New South Wales is one of our priorities given it only has 11 hospitals participating in the program at the moment. As the state with the biggest population in Australia, the opportunity to grow the program there is really good.”

As part of their drive to encourage greater participation and explain how the program works, Vinyl Council representatives are attending the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association Annual Conference in Sydney from 25 to 27 July 2018.

Fostering innovation in recycling and encouraging circularity of materials in the economy is a challenging and complex endeavour, The Vinyl Council has been engaged in such activity for several years, working with members of the vinyl value chain to facilitate solutions to end-of-life PVC products.

Industry Recycling Strategy Manager, Helen Millicer will be presenting on this topic at the 2018 Waste Strategy Summit to be held in Sydney 26-28 June.

On 28 June, in a presentation entitled 'Pilots and Collaborators – taking the ‘squiggle’ out of developing recycling solutions', Helen will share how the Council works to collaborate widely with stakeholders to develop innovative approaches to waste recovery and recycling. As an example, she will outline the challenges and successes of initiating and managing a project to divert a complex end-of-life vinyl product from landfill and find beneficial uses for the raw materials.

Her talk will cover:

•    How to implement concrete and effective recycling solutions in organisations
•    Understanding the importance of collaboration between industries, organisations and governments in developing recycling strategy
•    Learning how to take maximise the chance of success and take the 'squiggle' out of the process
•    Some of the exciting possibilities of PVC recycling in Australia

Helen will then participate in a panel session with a number of experts.



The Vinyl Council of Australia wishes to clarify some recent reports about its increasingly successful PVC Recycling in Hospitals program.

Managed by the Vinyl Council of Australia and its member partners in the program – Baxter Healthcare, Aces Medical Waste and Welvic Australia – the PVC Recycling in Hospitals program is a local initiative to redirect high-grade PVC waste from hospitals to local recycling companies to be reprocessed in Australia and sold to Australian and New Zealand manufacturers who produce new, finished products such as garden hoses and outdoor playground matting.  

Unlike other commercial and residential programs in Australia and New Zealand, the PVC Recycling in Hospitals program processes and recycles PVC material here in Australia, closing the loop on the manufacture, supply and disposal of PVC products in hospitals.

Thanks to the support and enthusiasm of hospitals, nurses and other healthcare professionals in Australia and New Zealand, the PVC Recycling in Hospitals program has now grown to more than 130 hospitals.

Over the past 12 months almost 200 tonnes of PVC waste from hospitals has been diverted from landfill to recycling.

At a time when residential recycling programs are under enormous pressure due to significant changes to waste management policies in China and its decision to restrict the importation of unsorted waste from other countries, the Vinyl Council confirms its PVC Recycling in Hospitals program remains unaffected by these changes in international waste management. We are proud that our industry program continues to lead by example as a local, innovative waste management and recycling program.

To support the growth of the PVC Recycling in Hospitals program, Welvic made a significant investment in modern recycling equipment last year and has created six new jobs at its Victorian PVC compounding plant.

Baxter Healthcare, a local manufacturer of hospital IV fluids bags, has also invested in education and training in the healthcare sector and provides logistics support.
"We seek to assure the healthcare sector and its staff that the PVC Recycling in Hospitals program is strong and is not affected by China’s ban on unsorted materials. All the medical waste collected under the program has always been, and continues to be, reprocessed and used here or in New Zealand," said Vinyl Council's CEO Sophi MacMillan.  
"This example-setting program is growing precisely because it is supported by the local vinyl manufacturing industry and the healthcare sector as product consumers. It is a clear demonstration that circularity within Australia can work."

The Vinyl Council is calling on other industries and manufacturers to support the program and for measures to strengthen the local recycling industry.  
"We would like to see greater support and incentives from government to encourage local design and manufacturing of products that use recyclate, to drive demand for recyclate use in Australia,” said Sophi.

“And we’d like policies to encourage procurement of those products that demonstrate they are closing the circularity gap in Australia.”


Australian Resilient Flooring Association (ARFA)

ARFA is the peak industry body in Australia representing Resilient Floor and Wallcoverings.

The key purposes of ARFA are:

  • to advance, encourage and protect the interests of the industry in Australia;
  • to establish and maintain contact with Government, regulatory authorities and other influential stakeholders in matters affecting the welfare of the industry;
  • to stimulate public confidence and interest in the industry;
  • to be actively engaged in the development of schemes to enable adequate training of future technical (and other) participants in the industry; and
  • to arrange the collation of statistical data and other information to assist in the development of the market.

Current ARFA initiatives underway include:

  • Commencement of a review to update AS1884: 2012 through Standards Australia by ARFA’s Technical Committee;
  • Support for the Vinyl Industry Recycling Strategy now trialing the recycling of post-consumer vinyl flooring waste in Australia;
  • Founding membership of the Australian Flooring Industry Alliance, comprising of ARFA, the Carpet Institute of Australia, the Australasian Timber Flooring Association, the Tile & Tilers Industry Association Australia and the Resin Floors Association. Through this body, ARFA plans to channel its support for an industry training initiative now underway in both the TAFE and private sectors.
  • Confidential, third party collation and aggregation of industry statistics for provision to members.
  • Association membership of the Vinyl Council of Australia for access to the PVC Stewardship Program, Best Practice PVC accreditation and other industry advocacy and services.

Further initiatives soon to commence include developing an Industry Code of Practice.

ARFA membership is available to any company that manufactures and/or imports and distributes resilient flooring and wallcoverings to the Australian market and that supports the purposes of the Association. Associate membership is welcomed from those companies supplying services or accessories to the industry.

Join the Association by contacting ARFA's Secretariat on 03 9510 1711.

Advances in technology, sustainability and product stewardship over the last 20 years have helped to transform the PVC sector across Australia and turn vinyl into a ‘sound choice of material’, delegates learnt at PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future.

Organised by the Vinyl Council of Australia in its 20th anniversary year, the two-day Sydney event in March shared latest developments in PVC formulations and best practice manufacturing that demonstrate the sector’s commitment to continuous improvement.

The event was supported by headline sponsors Austria-based Greiner Extrusion GmbH, Krauss-Maffei Berstorff from Munich, Germany and Italian machinery manufacturer PlasMec.

Vinyl Council Chief Executive Sophi Macmillan commented: “We are driving continuous improvement through the industry in Australia, for both locally-made and imported products, and this is driving change through PVC product supply chains.

“One of the longest standing product stewardship programs in Australia, our PVC Stewardship Program is leading in many areas. These include its life cycle approach, specific and measurable commitments, transparency, and focus on continuous improvement across the value chain.”

Currently 47 companies are Signatories to the Program, representing the majority of the Australian PVC industry. These companies include manufacturers of PVC resin, additives and end-products, PVC compounders and product importers. Major PVC applications represented in the Program include companies manufacturing or importing packaging, cables, windows, flooring, pipes, formwork, medical products, and profiles.

Among the industry successes Sophi highlighted were:  a 99.45% reduction in lead additive use since 2002, the Signatories’ 90% compliance with the PVC Industry Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Charter and several PVC recycling initiatives covering advertising banners, commercial vinyl flooring and medical devices.

In his US perspective on ‘Vinyl for a Purpose-Driven Sustainable Development’, Cristian Barcan, VP Sustainability & Industry Affairs at the Vinyl Institute covered key sustainability progress. This includes a 90% reduction in VCM emissions since 1983 and the elimination of lead and cadmium stabilisers. More than 450,000 tonnes of PVC are recycled annually in the US.

Cristian observed: “Unprecedented challenges lie ahead, we have to change. We don’t have three planets of natural resources; doing more with less is needed to address the needs of the next generation.”

Dr Tracy Wakefield of Plustec Pty Ltd outlined the benefits of uPVC Tilt n Turn windows and how their functionality, in terms of low-maintenance, ease-of-cleaning, security and superior ventilation are the future of windows in Australia – and crucially, suit its climate.

With 85% of windows installed in Australian homes still single-glazed, Gerhard Hoffmann of Greiner Extrusion emphasised how the insect-proof, thermally-efficient, 100% recyclable and corrosion-resistant properties of uPVC windows represent a cost-effective fenestration opportunity.

Advances in formulations were a key topic with Dane Tallen of stabiliser manufacturers Baerlocher exploring how calcium-based solutions could provide cost-effective and sustainable solutions for injection-moulding applications; while Dexter Chan from Arkema discussed the improved performance merits of acrylic impact modifiers in replacing chlorinated polyethylene (CPE) in rigid PVC.

Several updates on technology developments in the Australian PVC sector included a new chemical technology to separate PVC and laminated materials. Dennis Collins from PVC Separation explained how their two-stage chemical and environmentally-friendly process works for a variety of materials recycling, from PVC construction products to shoes, medical and food packaging items.

Dario Soncin of PlasMec covered latest developments in PVC dry blend preparation that can contribute to energy savings. Following him, Christian Birzer of Krauss-Maffei Berstorff revealed interesting advances in plastic processing machinery, including increasing the speed limit for pipe, increasing the production density and flexibility of pelletizing and narrowing the limits for u-PVC sheet extrusion.

Arjen Sevenster, Technical and Environmental Affairs Senior Manager at the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM) highlighted major sustainability progress in the European PVC industry and how the VinylPlus Voluntary Commitment is supporting the Circular Economy objectives for PVC.

Summing up, Sophi concluded: “With a high calibre of speakers and content, our conference attracted nearly 150 people and has been a huge success. It has demonstrated that PVC, as a durable, low-carbon plastic with the potential for circularity, can contribute to shaping a more sustainable future for all.”






Vinyl Council CEO Sophi MacMillan with Senator Kim Carr


Terence Jeyaretnam, EY



 VCA PVC AUS 18 23

Gerhard Hoffmann, Greiner Extrusion

A paper by one of the Vinyl Council's research partners, Dr. Sagar T Cholake, Research Associate, Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology, University of New South Wales, has been published in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling Volume 136, September 2018 related to the Council's vinyl banner recycling project.

The paper, ‘Cost-effective and sustainable approach to transform end-of-life vinyl banner to value added product’ details a potential, new low-cost solution for waste PVC coated fabrics that does not require the separation of the PVC from the polyester fabric, overcoming a major barrier to recycling.

Testing by the UNSW team indicated that waste PVC-coated banners could be used to fabricate strong and durable composite panels for multiple indoor and outdoor applications and the paper shows one example of final product.

Life cycle analysis, conducted as part of the research, showed that replacing virgin PVC by recycled PVC from banner emits 78% less greenhouse gas emissions (kg CO2 equivalent).

Access this paper through the online journal here.

Senator Kim Carr, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, will be giving the opening address at PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future, Australia’s premier vinyl conference to be held in Sydney from 14 to 15 March 2018.

Organised by the Vinyl Council of Australia, high-level international speakers at the two-day event will explore the latest technical, market, innovation and sustainability trends impacting on Australasia’s PVC value chain.  

On March 14, Senator Carr will update around 130 delegates on the Labor Party’s future vision for supporting innovation and development within its manufacturing sectors.

Worth an estimated $3 billion, Australia’s growing PVC industry directly employs more than 2,500 people. While around 85% of PVC is used in building and infrastructure products, from pipes to windows, the polymer’s versatility extends to myriad applications such as telecommunications, mining, health, food and agriculture to consumer goods.

Development of the local manufacturing base, from the creation of new growth markets in building products to reprocessing and recycling of end of life products, has been underpinned largely by the Vinyl Council of Australia and its members over the last two decades.

Vinyl Council Chief Executive Sophi MacMillan comments: “Here in Australia, we can demonstrate some world-leading examples of vinyl in areas ranging from healthcare to PVC pipe. Innovation in our sector has also seen great strides forward in areas such as wall construction systems, medical product recycling, 3D vinyl compounds and new recycling technology.

“We encourage and support policies that facilitate industry transition towards a resource efficient and circular economy, along with reducing the risk of non-conforming products being placed on the market.”

She adds: “Competition from non-conforming building products, such as cables, windows and plumbing, are significantly affecting our industry. So we would be interested to hear how the ALP plans to deliver frameworks that address this issue, as well as updates on its vision for the future of manufacturing and industry development in Australia.”

More information on the conference and its program can be found at

Monday, 19 February 2018 05:50

PVC AUS 2018

PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future

Presentations and papers given at PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future, Sydney 13-15 March 2018.


Eddie Kok IHS Chemical  A global outlook on PVC supply/demand – will supply get tighter in the next five years?
Arjen Svenster ECVM VinylPlus – the European voluntary commitment in the context of circular economy
Cristian Barcan Vinyl Institute Vinyl for a purpose-driven sustainable development – a US perspective
Terence Jeyaretnam EY Evolution of voluntary and regulatory Product Stewardship programs in Australia: Challenges, drivers and the future
Allan O’Connor Department of Defence Sustainable procurement in a large infrastructure program – a purchaser’s perspective on PVC
Darryl Stuckey Lendlease EPDs on the high rise: Supplier engagement and whole building LCA
David Baggs Global GreenTag The comparative life cycle evaluation of PVC vs other flooring

Stuart Douglas, Dennis Collins

innovyz / PVC Separation PVC Separation – a new chemical technology to separate PVC laminated materials
Neil Wilson Romar Engineering 3D printing and its aid to manufacturing
Berend Stel Rollepaal Developments in O-PVC extrusion technology
Dr Tracy Wakefield Plustec Avoiding the Venus flytrap of Australian windows
Nigel Jones Australian Vinyls New developments in performance and delivery of PVC for the Australian market
Rob Jagger Business Outcomes Group Identify and evaluate the best opportunities for business growth
Gerhard Hoffman Greiner Extrusion PVC Profiles – an expanding market opportunity
Dario Soncin Plasmec Latest Development in PVC mixing: (1) Mixing tools technologies and cooling efficiency
(2) Reducing the effects of humidity in the PVC dry-blend
Christian Birzer Krauss Maffei Plastic processing machinery – being prepared for the future
Dexter Chan, Alex Krassas Arkema / Rebain International The merits of pure acryllcs to replace CPE
Dane Tallen Baerlocher Calcium based solutions for injection moulding. Can one size really fit all?
Stephen Moore Townsend Solutions Global trends in PVC resin applications and additives usage
Ben Burden Employsure How to avoid employee Fair Work claims – unfair dismissal, bullying and harassment
Burak Dincel Dincel Construction Protecting and innovating our industry
Andrew Swan TechPlas Extrusions CASE STUDY: TechBoard – Analysing market entry and acceptance of an innovative product for a previously
unexplored market
Barbara Nebel thinkStep Without a seat, three legs alone make no stool
Michael Barnacoat ProGeneus CASE STUDY: Resysta – the irresistable product
Helen Millicer, Dr Mark Richardson Vinyl Council of Australia / Monash
University Department of Design
‘Wicked’ sustainable design – tackling end-of-life PVC
Sophi MacMiIlan, Laveen Dhillon Vinyl Council of Australia Vinyl: Shaping the future
Matthew Warren Australian Energy Council The future of energy in Australia
Geordan Murray Housing Industry Association Construction market outlook and emerging trends
Alex Stanley NAB Australian economic and financial outlook
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