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GREEN PAPER on Environmental issues of PVC

COM (2000)469, 26 July 2000

(comments on the Green Paper are available at the bottom of this page)

The Green Paper on environmental issues of PVC follows the commitment of the Commission, made in its Proposal for a Directive on end of life vehicles, to assess the impact of PVC wastes on the environment and to come forward with proposals to address problems which may arise in this regard.

The Green Paper is mainly based on the results of a comprehensive study programme launched by the Commission in 1999-2000, which examined all relevant aspects. Studies dealt with mechanical recycling, chemical recycling, landfill, incineration, and the economic implications of a diversion of PVC waste from incineration. 

A number of issues regarding PVC and its impact on the environment have been identified and analysed in the Green Paper:

  • The PVC industry and its products: structure of the industry, production processes, range of products, economic importance

  • Additives: quantities used, hazards, and risks of additives, in particular heavy metal stabilisers and phthalate plasticisers

  • Management of PVC wastes: current quantities and treatment routes, future development

  • Recycling of PVC wastes: processes and potential quantities for mechanical and chemical (feedstock) recycling and other technologies

  • Incineration of PVC wastes: technologies, residues, costs of incineration, evaluation of a potential diversion of PVC from incineration

  • Landfilling of PVC wastes: behaviour under landfill conditions.

The Green paper lists a range of measures, mandatory as well as voluntary, that are available to implement a horizontal Community strategy on PVC in order to address the problems that have been identified during the above mentioned analysis. The European PVC industry has signed a voluntary commitment on the sustainable development of PVC, which among others addresses the reduction of the use of certain heavy metal stabilisers, the mechanical recycling of certain post consumer wastes and the development of further recycling technologies. Legislative measures, such as a Proposal for a Directive on PVC, or a mix of instruments such as the adaptation of existing Directives, Recommendations to the Member States and further environmental agreements (COM (2002) 412) could also be adopted.

The following documents are available by clicking the language icons below.

 Press releases:

Commission launches consultation on environmental issues of PVC


Green Paper on environmental issues of PVC


Full text of the Green Paper on environmental issues of PVC

(pdf ~200K)

Reactions to the Green Paper on environmental issues of PVC

In the Green Paper the Commission invited all interested parties to discuss and comment on this document before the end of November 2000. A public hearing was organised in October 2000. On the basis of the analyses developed in this document and the outcome of this consultation process, the Commission will present  a Communication setting out a comprehensive Community strategy on the environmental issues of PVC.

The Commission invited the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions as well as interested parties to discuss and comment on the Green Paper. Comment were to be addressed to the Commission before the end of November 2000.

All comments received can be consulted below.

Summary Results of the Public Consultation (pdf ~30K)

European Parliament resolution on the Commission Green Paper on environmental issues of PVC


Comments from Member States (pdf ~80K)

Comments received are available in PDF format ~50 pages each:

* * * Public Hearing on PVC * * *