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PVC, a valuable ally in the 2050 agenda

Towards carbon neutrality thanks to recycled polimers

Climate change is damaging our country harder and harder, with droughts, floods, landslides, and crazy temperatures. For this reason, the European Council approved in December 2019 the goal of making the EU climate neutral by 2050.

Yay! It sounds like something really important for the health of our planet, but who really knows what climate neutral means? And most importantly, what actions need to be taken to achieve this important goal in such a short time?



CLIMATE NEUTRALITY

«Climate neutrality by 2050 means achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions for EU countries as a whole, mainly by cutting emissions, investing in green technologies and protecting the natural environment». (The European Climate Law - European Green Deal, ec.europa.eu.)


The climate neutrality, or carbon neutrality, is a state in which CO2 emissions are zero, thanks to a delicate balance between emissions and absorption. Our planet contains natural “carbon sinks” that neutralize CO2: soils, forests and oceans. But these are no longer enough, especially since they are increasingly reduced or polluted due to human intervention.

There are no artificial carbon sinks, so the only way to counter global warming and rebalance the climate is to significantly decrease the emissions. To offset CO2 from production process, we have to rely on clean and renewable energies and the reuse and recycling of materials.



DOES PVC HELP TO REDUCE EMISSIONS?

It seems an unlikely statement, but it is true that PVC, a synthetic polymer, can help the decarbonization process. How? Firstly, because of the way it is made: PVC is a very low-carbon material. In fact, it is composed mainly of chlorine and hydrogen. Moreover, its manufacture consumes less primary energy than other plastic materials.

Obviously, carbon footprint is not zero, but it can be reduced even more through recycling. PVC has the advantage of being a material that does not lose its performance characteristics when reused.

Finally, emission can be reduced even further thank to an intelligent production: chlorine can be reused and hydrogen can be produced by chlorine-alkali plants.



RECYLED PVC: NUOMEROUS USES, NOT ONLY IN CONSTRUCTION

The disposal and management of plastic materials, as we know, is a key issue for the preservation of the environment and reusing PVC, where possible, would greatly reduce CO2 emissions.

With their polymeric structure, PVC objects lend themselves to recycling like few other materials. Recycled PVC retains its physical and structural properties, even if other types of plastic traces have been left behind. Many things can be made with recycled PVC today: fixtures, pipes, roller blinds, profiles, floors, coverings, but also water bottles, backpacks and even jumpers!



PVC IN TRAFIL FOR THE AGENDA 2050

We have extensively talked about PVC characteristics on our blog. Many of the proposals in the Trafil catalogue are made of recycled PVC: from skirting boards to corner covers, up to profiles that can be customized and the new 100% recycled Trafilgreen we talked about in this article. The quality and durability of the product are not the only things that are important for the company, also how it is realized, what footprint it will leave on the planet and how much environmental damage it will have caused.

Trafil’s goal, as for all of us, is one: to get the zero as soon as possible.


 

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