We, the members of EPPA, which are active in recycling and converting PVC-U profiles, believe that every currently installed PVC-U profile and every PVC-U profile installed in the future must become a PVC-U profile again.
Accordingly, we strive to recycle all collectable post-consumer profile waste and to replace as much virgin PVC-U with rPVC-U in production as soon as possible given the socio-economic context.
To this end, we will (continue to) invest into collection, pre-treatment and recycling of PVC-U profiles.
Finally, we strive towards increasing the material efficiency of our production processes.
In the short term, i.e. by 2030:
We will exclusively design PVC-U profile systems of which all PVC-U can be recycled into PVC-U profiles again (design for closed loop recycling)
We will use all of rPVC-U from post-consumer waste on the market available to us in new profiles and support the use of 100% of rPVC-U from post-consumer waste on the market in the entire PVC profile market in the EU (closed loop of PVC-U in profiles)
We will extend obtaining third party traceability certification to all PVC-U profile waste recycled and rPVC-U used in the industry
With the increased renovation rate expected, millions of PVC windows will be available for recycling per year. As part of EPPA’s sustainability commitment which aims at increasing the amounts of post-consumer windows recycled and rPVC-U used, the association supports or runs clearinghouse projects in three European countries: Germany (Rewindo), France (UFME/SNEP), Poland (EPPA). The project aims to build an infrastructure and climate for window recycling via cooperation with national associations, liaison with politicians & external stakeholders.
PVC WINDOW RECYCLING PROCESS
CLEARINGHOUSE PROJECT IN GERMANY
EPPA partners with Rewindo – a recycling initiative of the German plastic profile manufacturers and involves the entire value chain of the PVC windows industry. The Recycling Project in Germany has launched over 20 years ago.
Rewindo is a pioneer in efficient recycling management. It involves the value chain: manufacturers, glass, window fittings/hardware, further extrusion companies, foil coating industry, recycling machinery industry, etc., to promote PVC window recycling within target groups.
Additionally, Rewindo aims to Promote PVC window collection and recycling, organize collection and pick-up, gather and publish information on PVC window recycling to external stakeholders.
The windows are separated into glass, metal, and other substances. Afterwards, a pure PVC granulate is obtained from the processed PVC, which is used in the manufacturing of new windows building profiles. Optimize infrastructure and recycling process (further collection points beside nationwide pick-up system, further recyclers).
Another mission of Rewindo is to encourage the profile producers to re-use recyclates within their new products.
Currently, Rewindo supports EPPA with the building-up of a recycling scheme in Poland.
You can read more about the collection and recycling scheme in Germany on the Rewindo website.
Rewindo Container for old windows;
Collection of old windows;
Container at the construction site;
CLEARINGHOUSE PROJECT IN FRANCE
In 2020 EPPA started the collaboration with UFME, the French association of Windows and Doors and SNEP, National Syndicate of Plastic Extrusion. The project was initiated via the voluntary commitment of the value chain to increase the collection of end-of-life PVC windows.
The Clearinghouse project connects the entire value chain informing about recycling of all window materials. The associations promote the best practices and implementation of collection and recycling points around France. Additionally, an interactive map of the collection centers is in development.
UFME and SNEP participate in Valobat, aiming at increased recycling of building materials.
UFME hired two dedicated part-time on-site coordinators. Mathilde Crenn-Sutter, responsible for the West and North of France, and Laurent Suet in charge of East and South of the country. This had a positive impact on signing new collecting and recycling partners. At the moment there are 20 more voluntary signatories, giving a total of 52 partners.
CLEARINGHOUSE PROJECT IN POLAND
In April 2021 EPPA kicked off Clearinghouse Project in Poland. The aim is to set up a clearinghouse which is the creation of an environment in which old windows can be sent to recycling. This includes collection points but also the creation of a network with all involved actors and raising awareness on the Green Deal, Circular Economy, and window recycling in Poland. The plan is to install collection points in cooperation with waste disposal companies and build the infrastructure on-site to ensure that the old windows can be recycled. Post-consumer windows will be dismantled locally, shredded and transported to Germany in the pilot phase.
For that matter, EPPA hired two dedicated part-time on-site coordinators: Karol Pieta and Konrad Burzynski. The consultants identified potential providers and established a relationship with the demolition and window installation companies, PSZOK – Selective Collection of Municipal Waste Points and RIPOK - Regional Municipal Waste Processing Installation.
Moreover, EPPA works in close cooperation with the Polish Association of Windows and Doors.
Container with old windows
Recycling plant in Poland