PVC: Recycling Killer - Public Health Menace
What’s so bad about PVC?
Lots. For extensive information on the environmental, human health and economic impacts of polyvinyl chloride — commonly known as "PVC" or "vinyl” and chemically known as (C2H3Cl)n — see the list below of additional links. GRRN’s PVC pages feature information on the myth of PVC recycling.
|Message in a Bottle: PVC Recycling is a Myth
Download the Report.
A report issued by GRRN provides evidence that PVC bottles and labels threaten the PET bottle recycling infrastructure and the continued development of bottle-to-bottle PET recycling. There is no equipment available that will remove 100% of PVC from PET bottles and at PET’s melt temperature, PVC burns destroying the surrounding PET and harming the processing equipment. Separating PVC bottles is costly because they make up only 2% of the bottles manufactured in the United States. Yet that same 2% of the bottle stream creates major problems for PET recyclers.
Furthermore, a recent report from Tufts University cites that vinyl chloride, the building block of PVC resin, has been classified as a human carcinogen. PVC production has been found to expose workers and surrounding communities to vinyl chloride and several studies have documented links between working in vinyl chloride production facilities and the increased likelihood of developing diseases including angiosarcoma of the liver and other non-cancer disorders. Additives mixed with PVC resins such as stabilizers, plasticizers, and fillers can leach out of a PVC product during its useful life posing public health hazards, including the development of reproductive problems in children.
|Take Action: Recent PVC campaign victories include agreements from Sears, Kmart, and Target to phase out PVC packaging and products. Watch this flash video , then sign up for PVC Action Alerts.|
- Downloads Free Publications
- "Message in a Bottle: The Impacts of PVC on Plastic Recycling” GRRN Report
- Click here to view and download pictures of some common products packaged in PVC bottles. Please feel free to use these graphics in your education and outreach efforts.
- “The Economics of Phasing out PVC” Tufts Study by Frank Ackerman
- Take Action!
- Additional Links
- Citizens’ Environmental Coalition
- Coming Clean
- Center for Health, Environment, and Justice
- The Environmental Health Strategy Center
- Greenpeace : (The Failed Promise of PVC Recycling)
- HealthCare Without Harm
- Healthy Building Network (PVC Fact Sheet)
- Northern California Recycling Association
- Oregon Toxics Alliance
- Toxic Comedy Pictures: “Blue Vinyl”
- Toxics Action Center
- Washington Toxics Coalition: (Vinyl Exam – Eliminating PVC in your Home)
- Women’s Voices for the Earth
- Vinyl Institute