In the recent years, the PVC industry is shaken due to the changes made in chemical regulations. According to the regulation, some of the traditional additives from the market have been and removed and emphasizing on renewable aspects such as use of bio-based plastics and recycling.
REACH is a chemical safety regulation which was adopted in 2006 with the objective of protecting consumer’s health and the environment by compelling the chemical companies to remove the most harmful substances on the market.
According to the reports, major pipeline manufactures in Europe have promised to stop the use of lead content in hard plastics such as polyvinyl chloride pipes, i.e. PVC pipes that are widely used in urban water, wastewater systems and home pumping within two years. The European Union i.e. EU Nations are trying really hard to follow chemicals regulation. The PVC pipes manufacturers in Europe have voluntarily agreed to eliminate the use of lead as a stabilizer in the manufacturing process by 2015, but they also fear that the unused raw materials would be completely replaced by the materials that are recycled from the old PVC pipes, which in-turn would decrease the production of new PVC pipes.
As per the reports, EU national representatives are scheduled for a meeting next week at European Chemicals Agency in Helsinki to discuss regarding the expansion of the REACH chemicals directive to include 21 lead compounds used in PVC stabilizers, in batteries, crystal, ceramics, rubber products and fuel additives.
As per Rio sustainability commitments, The European PVC industry has agreed at the UN Conference to reduce its resource footprint by reclaiming 800,000 tonnes of PVC per year by 2020 as compared to the 255,000 the industry achieved in 2010. The TEPPFA members as a part of European Industry have also promised to remove lead stabilizers and gradually increase recycling of PVC pipes.
In the efforts to minimize the harmful substance such as lead, some European manufacturers have voluntarily replaced lead stabilizers in water pipes.