PVC (PolyVinyl Chloride) is a very common thermplastic that contains high levels of chlorine. In the past, it was deemed unsafe to produce because of the dangerous chemicals involved in producing it. It’s a lot safer to manufacture now, and comes in the form of a solid, white plastic, often sold as flake/pellets. Often ‘plasticizers’ are added to the material to make it softer and more flexible.
Uses of PVC Plastic:
- Food packaging
- Window Frames
- Non-food bottles
- Cable conduits
- Ducts and sewage pipes
- Multi-layer PVC ﬂooring
How is PVC Recycled?
Because PVC and PET have the same density, an additional method of plastic sorting is used, called X-ray fluorescence. This method detects the chlorine particles which are in PVC, but not in PET, and separates the materials in the waste stream.
PVC is often recycled through the VinyLoop process, which involves filtering out the composite materials in the plastic (rubbers, metals, textiles, other plastics) using a solvent, and then grinding it down into a PVC granule.
Often PVC pipes will end up as PVC pipes, as this is not the easiest to recycle or the most versatile type of thermoplastic.