Vinyl and environment

Environment: PVC is often said to have poor environmental properties. However, this is an old rumour which is not true. If looking into it in a scientific way, one will find that PVC actually has among the best environmental properties of all polymers. This is especially true when it comes to

  • Dependency on fossil raw material
  • Energy consumption
  • Greenhouse gases, Global Warming Potential (GWP)
  • Recyclability


PVC (polyvinylchloride) is produced from 43% crude oil and 57% salt (unlike most other thermoplastics which are more or less entirely derived from fossil sources). As such PVC uses less fossil raw material than all other commodity plastics and therefore conserves our crude oil resources.

Environment: resources


The energy consumption during production of PVC is 60,6 MJ, of this 56,9 MJ are non-renewable sources and 3,7 MJ are renewable. As can be seen in the below graph, production of PVC consumes much less energy than any other polymer, and about 6% of the energy is from renewable sources, while virtually zero for other polymers:

Environment: energy     Source: PlasticsEurope


Also in terms of Global Warming Potential (GWP), PVC comes out as one of the best polymers, so it’s impact on the environment is also here lower than most plastics.

Global warming potential of PVC compared to other plastics:

environment: GWP    Source: PlasticsEurope

All figures mentioned here apply to PVC from European producers.

Download our fact sheet here: ENVIRONMENTAL FACT SHEET_12-04-2017