Participation in the Recovinyl recycling initiative: Certified resource conservation for greater sustainability


The topics of sustainability and circular economy are becoming increasingly important in a wide variety of industries, including plastics processing companies. For many years, GEALAN has placed a special focus on developing the manufactured products as sustainably and resource-efficiently as possible throughout the entire manufacturing process. Proof of this is the company's involvement in the Recovinyl initiative.

VinylPlus: Voluntary commitment of the PVC industry 

With the creation of VinylPlus, the participating companies from the plastics industry made a voluntary commitment to develop approaches that enable a more responsible production, use and recycling of PVC. The program is in line with the 17 SDGs of the United Nations and the goals of the circular economy. VinylPlus covers all sectors of the European PVC industry: manufacturers of raw materials and additives as well as plastics processors and recyclers.  
VinylPlus Deutschland e.V. is a working group that connects more than 50 companies and partners along the PVC value chain who have set themselves the goal of consistently strengthening the sustainable use of the material. 


Recovinyl: Certification body for the recycling of recyclates 

VinylPlus is based on three pillars. In addition to forming international partnerships, as well as decarbonizing and minimizing the industry's environmental footprint, there is a major focus on recycling PCV waste. To this end, the Recovinyl initiative was founded by Vinylplus in 2003. It certifies companies that recycle PVC waste as well as approved processing companies that purchase recycled PVC for the production of new PVC products. Recovinyl forms a platform that improves the use of resources in the industry by increasing the material flow of recyclates. 150 companies from all over Europe participate in Recovinyl, which are not only based in over 15 EU member states, but are also based in Switzerland, Norway and the UK.  


Recycling of over 810,000 tons of PVC in 2022 

Thanks to Recovinyl's efforts, more than 810,000 tonnes of used PVC were reprocessed and recycled by the participating companies in 2022 alone. VinylPlus' new commitment sets a target of increasing this figure to 900,000 tonnes by 2025. By 2030, the companies are even aiming for at least 1 million tonnes of recycled PVC to be collected annually for the production of new products. 

Recycling-Kreislauf GEALAN

The special feature here is that the recycled material comes not only from post-production recycling and post-industrial recycling, but also from post-consumer recycling. More precisely, this means that not only returns that were defective in production or are returned by the window manufacturers are recycled, but that old windows are also recycled.  

In concrete terms, this means that GEALAN reports the quantities of recycled material purchased and processed to VEKA AG on a quarterly basis. This enters the figures into RecoTrace, Recovinyl's™ data acquisition system.  
For the whole of 2022, for example, GEALAN forwarded a value of 36,233 tonnes of recyclate. 

Participation contributes to the visibility of the topic of circular economy in the company. An independent body proves that GEALAN not only plans or claims to operate sustainably and resource-saving, but actually does so. 


From the old window to the new profile 

The special feature of this approach lies in post-consumer recycling, i.e. in the fact that new profiles are created from old windows and thus an equivalent product is created. This is in contrast to the common practice of most companies. For example, they process old plastic frames into lower-quality products such as sewage pipes. 
Our approach, however, uses the tri-extrusion process to create window profiles that have a core of recycled material on the inside, which is covered by a fine layer of new PVC. The whole thing is rounded off, for example, by the first-class surface technology GEALAN-acrylcolor®.  


Anja Schaller


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