The European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM), The European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates (ECPI), The European Stabilisers Producers Associations (ESPA), European Plastics Converters (EuPC)
Summary of the initiative
Name of Private Regulator:The European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM), The European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates (ECPI), The European Stabilisers Producers Associations (ESPA), European Plastics Converters (EuPC)
Objective(s):Avoiding government regulation (further PVC ban); improving sector's image (showing that PVC industry is a responsible industry); increasing clients' trust in the quality of the products/services. The European associations of PVC manufacturers, PVC additive producers and PVC converters have signed an agreement setting principles, quantified targets and deadlines touching at manufacture, additives (plasticisers and stabilisers and waste management). The Voluntary commitment has been updated in 2006. This initiative is in line with article 3 of the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme 2002-2010. The later provides that "The aims and objectives set out in the Programme shall be pursued, inter alia, by ... improving collaboration and partnership with enterprises and their representative bodies and involving the social partners, consumers and their organisations, as appropriate, with a view to improving the environmental performance of enterprises and aiming at sustainable production patterns. This requires: ... encouraging voluntary commitments or agreements to achieve clear environmental objectives, including setting out procedures in the event of non-compliance .."PM. A voluntary commitment was already signed in 1995 by the Association of European PVC producers (ECVM). In this industry charter for production of VCM and PVC (suspension), strict emission limits for a number of chemicals were set, which had to be complied with by 1998. Compliance was verified through an independent audit, which attested an overall compliance of 88% with all standards. In addition to the charter for VCM and suspension PVC production, ECVM signed in 1998 a charter for the production of emulsion PVC with strict emission limits for VCM to air and water, and VCM content of the final polymer. PVC has been under scrutiny for many years and following several application specific legislative tools such as on end-of-life vehicles, waste electrical and electronic equipment as well as packaging. In 1997 the European Commission embarked upon an "horizontal initiative on PVC" to adress all the concerns. The process ended with the publication of a Commission Green Paper mentioning that the PVC industry was proposing to voluntarily manage issues related to PVC (waste, use of additives, PVC manufacturing) -European Commission, Green Paper Environmental issues of PVC, COM(2000)469.
Description of the Initiative