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Exemption from lead ban in PVC for recyclates

PVC products containing lead will be banned in Europe, with the exception of PVC recyclates.


The European Commission has re-regulated the use of lead in PVC products under the REACH Regulation, which was adopted on May 3, 2023: Lead may no longer be used in products made of PVC. In the future, PVC products containing lead may no longer be placed on the market in the European Union, i.e. they may also no longer be imported from third countries. According to the EU Commission, the new regulation is intended to ensure a level playing field for European manufacturers. The PVC industry in Germany says it welcomes the REACH regulation on the restriction of lead in PVC. It said it supported the efforts of the industry, which had already committed itself in 2015 to eliminating lead stabilizers in its products as part of the VinylPlus® initiative, the voluntary commitment of the European PVC industry, and had now fully completed this in all 27 EU member states. The REACH regulation also brings into force an exemption for lead in recycled rigid PVC, which is to apply for a few years and under certain conditions so as not to jeopardize the recycling of demolition waste. According to VinylPlus Germany, this will allow the recycling of old PVC products that still contain lead additives in a way that ensures the protection of both human health and the environment. It will also give the industry enough time to adapt to the new regulations. Thomas Hülsmann, managing director of VinylPlus Germany, explains, "PVC is a sustainable plastic and an important building block of our modern society." The wide range of innovative products contributed to energy-efficient and affordable construction and housing, and in the healthcare sector they are a component of life-saving medical devices. In this way, and through the industry's voluntary commitment to further increase recycling volumes, the sector and its products play an important role in achieving the EU's Green Deal, is said.

Further information:


  • PM VinylPlus Deutschland (May 8, 2023)
  • Kunststoff Information (May 9, 2023)
  • Photo: © VinylPlus Deutschland

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