The polyvinyl chloride (PVC) industry initiative Vinyl Plus has announced the creation of a tool aimed at assessing the life cycle impacts of PVC additives. The Additive Sustainability Footprint tool is described as “allow[ing] its users to assess and promote the sustainable production and use of PVC additives across entire product life cycles, including the role of additives in the performance of PVC products.” The methodology, presented in an article published in August 2019, considers a risk-based rather than hazard-based approach to the assessment.
The tool has been met with sharp criticism by civil society organizations who argue against the fundamental idea that PVC can be labeled as sustainable and see this approach as “greenwashing and misleading,” Chemical Watch reports. Tatiana Santos from the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) commented that “PVC is the most environmentally damaging and the least recyclable of all plastic. Sustainable production and use of PVC is just not possible.” The EEB instead is calling for the PVC industry to shift away from the material.
Vinyl Plus (June 2020). “Additive Sustainability Footprint tool.”
Vanessa Zainzinger (July 2, 2020). “EU PVC industry launches tool for calculating sustainability of additives.” Chemical Watch
Mark Everard and Richard Blume (2019). “Additive sustainability footprint: Rationale and pilot evaluation of a tool for assessing the sustainable use of PVC additives.” Journal of Vinyl and Additive Technology 26:196-208.