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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.

Friday, 03 November 2017 02:40

Sustainability - Recycling - PVC Waste AUdit

PVC Waste Audit

The Vinyl Council, on behalf of the Signatories of the PVC industry’s Product Stewardship Program, commissioned a national PVC Waste Audit. The Audit was conducted by Nolan ITU in 2005 to understand and gather data on the amount of PVC waste entering the waste stream in Australia annually.

The major proportion of PVC resin is consumed in long life applications which take years to enter the waste stream. Based on historical resin consumption by application going back to the 1940s and average service life times for each application, the Audit estimated how much of each application would be entering the waste stream today and going forward to 2015.

The Audit is the most comprehensive study to date on the quantities of PVC waste currently generated in Australia. Data was obtained from importers and exporters, manufacturers, converters and recyclers.

The findings from data collected for the calendar year 2004 were:

  • Less than one per cent of the 16-20 million tonnes of waste sent to landfill each year in Australia was PVC
  • 3.4 per cent of the total quantity of PVC products still in use were products at the end-of-life
  • 158,300 tonnes of end-of-life PVC product was available for recovery
  • 10,035 tonnes of PVC recyclate was made from the PVC waste collected in existing recycling programs.

The audit suggested priorities for PVC recovery based on the amount of available end-of-life PVC by application, ease of recovery, current infrastructure, and technical issues in the recycling process.

The Product Stewardship Program has subsequently launched an action plan, Vinyl-2-Life and a Industry Strategy to investigate barriers to recycling in the priority applications, set objectives and strategies and assist in the development of infrastructure for material recovery.

 

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.


Imaginative end product concepts for using waste PVC advertising banners have been displayed at Waste Expo Australia, a business-to-business exhibition for waste, recycling and sustainability in Australia.

Roof shingles, pallet slip sheets, floor tiles and a design for a water storage/seat for garden drip irrigation were among the inspirational ideas presented by Monash University at the event, held from 11 to 12 October 2017 in Melbourne.

The designs were created after the Vinyl Council successfully obtained funding from the NSW Environment Trust to identify ways to reprocess advertising billboard skins and find potential end markets for the recyclate.

Currently around 500 tonnes of this material are disposed to landfill each year, as well as larger quantities of grain covers and truck tarpaulins totalling around 5,000 tonnes per year.

Commenting on the designs, Vinyl Council Chief Executive Sophi MacMillan said: “A series of workshops and forums with the Outdoor Media industry, Monash University, UNSW and manufacturers have delivered excellent results.

“As well as producing some fabulous ideas for recycled PVC, the concepts reflect perfectly the Waste Expo principles of ‘Where today’s waste becomes tomorrow’s future’.”

Other ideas for using the reprocessed material include a woven fabric for should bags, skateboard skins and sound attenuation barriers.

Finding solutions to reprocessing the waste PVC involved close collaboration between industry associations, manufacturers, industrial designers and chemical engineers.

“As a priority recycling area, we are very encouraged by these early results,” added Sophi. “A new reprocessing method has been identified, which is proceeding to international patent, and a low-cost reprocessing method has been identified for some suitable product, leading to 2 tonnes recycled material per month.”

 

OPEN FOR REGISTRATIONS!

13-15 March 2018 Amora Hotel Jamison, Sydney

PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future. The only conference that brings together Australasia’s vinyl value chain to meet, educate, innovate.

Over A$1 billion of raw materials are consumed by Australia’s PVC manufacturing industry and over A$3 billion of products containing PVC are sold in Australia.

Building on the success of our first conference held in 2016, PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future will provide an exceptional opportunity to reach, network with and influence key decision makers in the industry. Shaping the Future is your chance to learn about industry trends and developments specific to the manufacturing, use and re-use of vinyl.

HEADLINE SPONSORS

DOWNLOAD THE PROGRAM

Over two days, PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future will have two content-rich, parallel technical and commercial presentation streams as well as plenary sessions and panel discussions, together with plenty of networking and conversation time. Download the Program here.

With experts in PVC manufacturing, product development and markets supported by world renowned companies as sponsors and exhibitors, it’s the only event designed to shape the future of the vinyl industry in the region.

Connect with industry peers and influencers in Sydney while getting a comprehensive overview of the vinyl industry and market trends from experts, leaders, and innovators all along the supply chain.

Download the Program

REGISTER NOW!

Register before 1 December 2017 to save $200 off the full price conference rate. Special rates available for Vinyl Council of Australia members!

There are further discounts for company group bookings of three or more delegates, and great rates for social partners to join the welcome reception and dinner.

Register through TryBooking.com.

EXHIBITORS

For opportunities available to raise your company profile at the only event in Australasia that brings together the entire vinyl value chain, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.now to book.
Hurry! There are only a few exhibitor spots left. 

Thursday, 21 September 2017 07:03

Register now for PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future

Register now for PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future

Registration is open for PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future - Australia’s premier vinyl conference organised by the Vinyl Council of Australia - and it’s already proving a big hit with sponsorship sold out in just 48 hours.

A host of top-level international speakers have been lined up, alongside headline sponsors Austria-based Greiner Extrusion GmbH, Krauss-Maffei Berstorff from Munich, Germany and Italian machinery manufacturer PlasMec, who will be supporting the two-day event in Sydney from 13 to 15 March.

Special celebrations will be held on the eve of the conference to mark the Vinyl Council’s 20th Anniversary with a Drinks and Conference Welcome Reception attended by industry colleagues past and present. A great networking opportunity too!

Australia’s PVC manufacturing industry consumes more than A$1 billion of raw materials and over A$3 billion of products containing PVC are sold in Australia. Current and future issues influencing this sector will be discussed by industry leaders, technical experts and commercial staff from Australia and overseas, all specifically focused on this PVC value chain.

Presentations, plenary sessions and panel discussions will cover topics ranging from manufacturing technology and technical advances to market trends and opportunities for industry as the sector drives progress towards greater sustainability.

Expert speakers include Eddie Kok, Senior Director at HIS Chemical on the global outlook for PVC supply/demand and Arjen Sevenster from the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers providing updates from VinylPlus: the European Voluntary Commitment in the context of Circular Economy.

Three representatives from EY, led by Terence Jeyaretnam, a Partner in Climate Change & Sustainability, will report on the evolution of voluntary and regulatory Product Stewardship programs in Australia and outline the challenges and drivers for the future.

Innovations in PVC Separation using a new chemical technology to separate PVC laminated materials will be explained by Stuart Douglas from Innovyz and Paperfreight Recycling’s Dennis Collins, while Rob Spelreijse, CEO of Rollepaal will share expertise in multilayer and O-PVC technology.

Commenting on the comprehensive programme, Vinyl Council Chief Executive Sophi MacMillan says: “As the only conference that brings together Australasia’s vinyl value chain to meet, educate and innovate, it promises to be a must-attend event for all professionals in this sector providing valuable insights on trends in local and global markets.

“PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future builds on the resounding success of our 2016 inaugural event, making it the ideal opportunity to make new connections, discover new developments and learn about the latest technical and market trends in the vinyl industry. We look forward to seeing you there!”

To find our more, visit PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future

To register as a delegate, go to TryBooking.

Chemson demonstrates a ‘world-first’ for 3DVinyl

Chemson Pacific Pty Ltd, a Vinyl Council of Australia member, demonstrated a world-first for 3DVinyl™ material by 3D-printing a giant flower vase using a pellet-fed 3D-printer designed by Titan Robotics USA.

Titan Robotics had joined Chemson representatives at Rapid 3D, a 3D-printing exhibition in Pittsburgh, USA where it took three hours to print the 14kg vase. It’s a first for 3DVinyl™ in that all 3D-printing work conducted so far with vinyl, or PVC, has so far been with filament-fed machines.

Since unveiling their technological breakthrough in May 2016, Chemson Group, worldwide leaders in the PVC stabilizer additives industry, has been working on changes to the material’s thermoplastic PVC formulation. These include improvements to the Z-axis interlayer adhesion, impact resistance and thermal stability.

Speaking after the May 2017 exhibition,  Greg Harrison, Specialist for Chemson on Additive Manufacturing materials and 3DVinyl™ co-inventor comments: “We have some more formulation adjustments to do, which will shortly be completed, but overall we have demonstrated that 3DVinyl™ PVC has a place in the industrial Advanced Manufacturing world of 3D-printable polymers.”

A short video of the vase during the 3D-printing process can be seen here.

Dr J.-Dieter Klamann, MD of Chemson Pacific Pty Ltd and 3DVinyl™ co-inventor adds: “Everybody is working on the printing speed factor…but - if you look closely at the complexity of the shapes, the biggest breakthrough is that they cannot be made by any other process!”

Excited by their success, Dieter and his fellow co-inventors, Greg and Dennis Planner, 3DVinyl™ Product Manager say it ‘shows a clear way forward for the industry’.

“After this initial success of having a printable version of PVC in the form of 3DVinyl™, the international Chemson team is currently undertaking concerted efforts to adapt PVC’s well-established unique potential and versatility for applications in the 3D Printing/AM world,” says Dieter. “These new PVC products will be introduced step-by-step into the 3DP community after basic 3D printability is assessed in our rigorous pre-tests.”

Welcoming enquiries from interested parties, Dennis adds: “We hope to engage and collaborate with industry to help us further improve the current formulation within the context of industrial and product manufacturing use cases that can’t be effectively emulated in our lab and previous field testing environments.”

Chemson plans to offer 3DVinyl™ in both filament and pellet form to cover a wider array of 3D printers and applications.

 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017 00:03

Vinyl Council of Australia welcomes new members

Council welcomes new members

The Vinyl Council is delighted to welcome a number of companies who have recently joined as members. These include:

  • Cryo Grind, a long-standing processor, recycler, compounder and granulator for flexible and rigid PVC for raw materials.
  • Ecovue, a company started in 2009 based in Sydney supplying double glazed window and door systems to the Australian market.
  • Premier Extrusion, a Victorian based company which manufactures PVC profiles.
  • RBM Plastic Extrusions, a long-established NSW-based company extruding PVC profiles, such as for glazing.
  • Rebain International, the Melbourne based representative for a number of international suppliers to the PVC industry.
  • Sekisui Rib Loc, a South Australian-based company that manufactures PVC profiles adn corrugated conduit.
  • TCL Hofmann is a Victorian-based trading company that imports and distributes PVC stabilisers.

The Vinyl Council truly represents the vinyl value chain in Australia, acting as the collective voice for the industry and working to enhance the industry's opportunities for growth and sustainable development.

See a full list of Council members here.

To inquire about membership, call 03 9510 1711 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Annual progress report on PVC industry contribution to a more sustainable life

At the Vinyl Council, we believe it is how a material is managed and used throughout its life cycle which determines its contribution to a more sustainable society and economy. To guide and support companies in the PVC value chain in Australia, industry and stakeholders developed the PVC Stewardship Program as an on-going, long-term, voluntary undertaking by the industry to address progressively environmental, health and safety issues along the PVC product life cycle within responsible and deliverable timeframes.

The 2016 annual report of progress achieved by industry through implementation of the PVC Stewardship Program has just been released, following independent verification by Ernst & Young. Now in its fifteenth year, a record 42 Signatory companies provided their 2016 data and information to the Vinyl Council, with almost one third of them first time reporters this year. The latest report finds that almost three-quarters (73%) of the Signatories achieved compliance rates of 80 percent or more.

Nine Signatories were fully compliant with all the commitments relevant to their business, earning them the Vinyl Council’s Excellence in PVC Stewardship Award.

The 2016 annual report saw improvements in compliance for three key areas of the Program:

  • avoiding mercury in upstream raw material manufacture;
  • commitment to energy efficiency and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • implementation of environmental management systems.

Compliance with the commitment to source raw materials from supply chains that do not use mercury cell electrolysis technology, or mercury catalysts rose from 64 percent in 2015 to 82 percent in 2016. Furthermore, only one Signatory was unable to access this information from their suppliers, demonstrating the growing acceptance of greater transparency in supply chains.

In early 2016, the Australian vinyl industry saw the closure of the country’s last remaining local resin manufacturing plant. Product manufacturers now source resins from overseas suppliers, increasing the complexity and globalisation of supply chains and making transparency and responsible sourcing even more important.

The PVC Stewardship Program facilitates presenting the evidence of the traceability of PVC throughout the product life cycle. As part of the report verification process, nine audits were conducted at Signatory company sites to help assess the veracity of the data being used in the report.

In only the second year of implementing a new commitment to improve packaging material recycling, 24 Signatories reported against the commitment, up from 14 in 2015. A growing number of Signatories report that more than 70 percent of incoming packaging waste at their business site is being recycled; they record or measure how different waste streams are managed at their site/s; and they undertake initiatives such as packaging design improvements, packaging material labelling, packaging light-weighting and offering packaging take-back programs.

The annual report identified some areas for further improvement:

  • Embedding PVC Stewardship commitments into business policies and procedures so that it is part of core business;
  • Using recoPVC (recycled PVC) in products supplied to the market – although 6,292,609 kilograms of recoPVC was reported as contained in products Signatories supplied to the market in 2016, two out of five product suppliers are not yet supplying products containing recyclate;
  • Completing the phase out of lead-containing additives - over 99.45 percent of use of these additives has been phased out by Signatories since 2002, however two Signatories are working to find technically feasible alternatives to some minor uses of them for specific applications, within the timelines they had set upon joining the Program.

According to the Vinyl Council's PVC Stewardship Manager Ms Laveen Dhillon, the requirements to be met under the Program are challenging. "Each year Signatory companies must verify that they or their upstream suppliers meet stringent manufacturing standards set by the Program for raw material sourcing, as well as meet local manufacturing commitments such as in use of additives, or implement energy and resource efficiency".

Audit findings showed that Signatories are undertaking internal quality checks and procedures to improve the accuracy and reliability of reporting. Ms Dhillon will continue to work closely with Signatories in 2017 to strengthen engagements across the PVC supply chain, improve program reporting requirements and promote resources available to reach compliance.

Download the 2016 full report here.

 

 

Note: The PVC Stewardship Program, managed by the Vinyl Council, is a series of commitments which Signatories are required to implement and report on annually to drive continual improvement in the vinyl value chain in Australia and reduce the environmental footprint of PVC products consumed here. Given the varied nature of Signatory businesses, the list of commitments applicable to each company varies depending on its activity and position in the supply chain.

Sunday, 23 July 2017 23:30

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