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.”
ARFA is the peak industry body in Australia representing Resilient Floor and Wallcoverings and is a member of the Vinyl Council of Australia.
Visit ARFA's website for more information.
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
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 vinyl.org.au/news/pvc-aus-2018
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
|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|
More than 30 expert speakers from around the world will be sharing leading edge insight about the latest technical, market and sustainability trends in the vinyl industry at PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future.
Organised by the Vinyl Council of Australia, this two-day premier vinyl conference brings together Australasia’s vinyl value chain in Sydney from 13 to 15 March 2018. Supporting the event are headline sponsors Austria-based Greiner Extrusion GmbH, Krauss-Maffei Berstorff from Munich, Germany and Italian machinery manufacturer PlasMec.
In his global outlook for PVC supply/demand, Eddie Kok, Senior Director at IHS Chemical will provide expert analysis on pricing, supply/demand dynamics and whether supply will tighten in the next five years.
Sustainability developments in the European PVC industry and how the VinylPlus Voluntary Commitment is supporting the Circular Economy objectives for PVC will be covered by Arjen Sevenster, Technical and Environmental Affairs Senior Manager at the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM).
He will also discuss the ‘legacy substances’ issue, the development of an effective recycling system and an ‘Additives Sustainability Footprint’ methodology to evaluate the use of PVC additives from a sustainable development perspective.
Delegates will be updated on the American vinyl industry’s ‘journey of continuous improvement’ by Cristian Barcan, VP Sustainability & Industry Affairs at The Vinyl Institute. In his ‘Vinyl for a Purpose-Driven Sustainable Development’ talk, he will highlight current initiatives including an industry-wide materiality assessment, and how vinyl products can play a major leadership role in contributing to sustainable development.
Technological advances in processing and machinery will be explored by representatives from the event’s sponsors - Gerhard Hoffman, of Greiner Extrusion, Dario Soncin of Plasmec and Christian Birzer of Krauss Maffei.
Topics in this session include an overview on expanding market opportunities for PVC windows, latest developments in PVC mixing and how machine and processing technologies can prepare plastics manufacturers for future challenges.
PVC’s versatility and sustainability in construction applications include Andrew Swann of Tech Plas Extrusions Pty Ltd introducing TechBoard, an innovative product for a previously unexplored market; while David Baggs of Global Green Tag Pty Ltd will offer a comparative life cycle evaluation of PVC versus other flooring materials.
Recycling is another key theme to be examined by several speakers such as Dennis Collins, an Australian inventor of new recycling technologies for challenging waste materials. Creative concepts and ‘Wicked’ sustainable designs for tackling end-of-life PVC will be presented by Helen Millicer, the Vinyl Council’s Recycling Projects Manager and Mark Richardson from Monash University.
Economic, financial and construction market outlooks from leading commentators will conclude the comprehensive program.
Vinyl Council Chief Executive Sophi MacMillan comments: “Our second conference, PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future provides an unmatched opportunity for Council members and their stakeholders to learn about industry trends and developments specific to the manufacturing, use and re-use of vinyl.
“It’s the only event designed to shape the future of the vinyl industry in the region. We look forward to welcoming – and inspiring - you in Sydney!”
The Vinyl Council of Australia has launched a new conference app for mobile and tablet devices to keep PVC AUS 2018 delegates and prospective attendees up to date with all the very latest information about their biennial event.
Available for both Android and Apple devices, the convenient conference tool is designed to deliver all of the latest news and updates in one place.
As well as being a useful on-the-day tool for the two-day conference in Sydney from 13 to 15 March 2018, the free app also includes all the key information needed ahead of the event, including the very latest program, speaker, sponsor and exhibitor information.
PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future is Australia’s premier vinyl conference. Organised by the Vinyl Council of Australia, it brings together Australasia’s vinyl value chain to meet, educate and innovate. In a packed program, more than 30 expert speakers from around the world will be sharing leading edge insight about the latest technical and market trends in the vinyl industry.
Commenting on the App, Vinyl Council Chief Executive Sophi MacMillan says: “We recognise the advantages of having a custom mobile app that provides all the information you’ll need at your fingertips to enjoy the whole event.
“We will be keeping this current from now to the close of the conference, so stay in touch with all things PVC AUS 2018 by downloading the ‘pvc aus 18’ app to your mobile or tablet now.”
If you’ve still not registered for the event at the Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney, you can book directly via the app, or here.