Deceuninck took the lead in implementing the processes required for environment-friendly PVC manufacturing in 2004, long before the 2015 deadline mandated under the European Union’s environmental policy for all European countries.
Deceuninck’s environmental consciousness saw the company adopt actions for the environment with 100% recyclable TPE seals and profiles produced using environment-friendly calcium-zinc stabilisers.
EU’s environmental policy is of vital importance since the environment is a global issue and has a direct impact on both humankind and the future of the planet. Having a common environmental policy within European Union makes sense since environmental pollution does not recognise political or geographical borders, and sustainability and improvement of natural living conditions in a healthier manner are required to improve quality of life.
EU’s environmental policy takes into account the effects of all products used in everyday life, on the environment as well as human health and safety. The European Union formed VINYL 2010 (The Voluntary Commitment of the European PVC Industry) in 2000 to regulate PVC manufacturers as well as producers of PVC and PVC additives. Australia declared that they would not accept plastic materials containing heavy metals since the beginning of 2008. The USA also prohibits the use of lead and similar heavy metals in PVC products in the USA.
Following the VINYL 2010 ban on the use of heavy metal Ba-Cd stabiliser in all European markets since March 2001, all PVC manufacturers began using lead-based stabilisers. With the increase of environmental consciousness, calcium-zinc based stabilisers were developed as an alternative to lead-based stabilisers. As a result of this development, VINYL 2010 sought to stop the consumption of lead stabilisers, completely replacing them with calcium-zinc stabilisers by the year 2015.
The ECVM (The European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers), ESPA (The European Stabilisers Producers Associations) and EuPC (European Plastic Converters) on the VINYL 2010 Committee made a commitment to reduce the use of lead, known to be the most common among all heavy metals, based on 2000 consumption levels, with targeted reduction of 15% in 2005; 50% in 2010; and 100% in 2015.
There are many technological challenges in this transition. PVC is a raw material that is never used on its own, but is enriched with a variety of additives before being used in industry. Stabilisers occupy a significant place among these additives with PVC profile moulds and production machines designed and manufactured in line with the composition created by their chemical structure. Therefore, any change in the stabiliser’s chemical structure keeping in mind the existing moulds and machine investments, requires advanced technology and know-how at high expense.
This is the reason why manufacturers in European countries have been given sufficient time until 2015 to complete the transition. However, Deceuninck completed this process early thanks to its experience and switched to calcium-zinc stabilisers across its production of window profiles and door profiles.
Deceuninck products are available in Australia from Mint Windows and Door Solutions.