How Green is our uPVC? ← Back to Customer Advice
uPVC (short for polyVinyl chloride) is a cost effective, low maintenance, lightweight, strong, versatile and fully recyclable material that is adaptable to many applications. Its lightweight, low maintenance thermal properties deliver major benefits in construction.
Its properties encourage the wide use of PVC in irrigation and roofing with benefits to users in the Third World. PVC is also ideal for many medical applications. Whilst PVC is widely used in short life applications (such as packaging) 90% of PVC applications are designed for medium or long term use.
It is one of the most versatile materials to have been invented with thousands of uses that cannot be economically or practically replaced with other materials.
uPVC products are widely used in building and construction such as windows, doors and related profiles, pipes and ducting, flooring, roofing and cladding, electrical cables and wiring and building membranes. When used in building products such as window frames PVC requires little maintenance and offers excellent insulation, resulting in significant cost savings during the lifetime of the product.
During initial production and conversion into finished products PVC is comparatively low in energy and material consumption. The material is also difficult to ignite and will not sustain flammability when the combustion source is removed.
PVC is 100% recyclable and may be recycled 10 times and more without significant loss of integrity and structure. Theoretically, therefore, assuming a 35-year installation life for PVC windows which are then removed and recycled, the PVC from which the original windows were manufactured would have a useful life of 350 years!
57% of the basic PVC molecule is derived from salt, an element in plentiful supply with an estimated 50 quadrillion (one thousand million) tonnes of dissolved salt in the world’s seas alone, with the remainder from oil.
PVC is inert, a quality that makes it ideal for use in medical products and environments, and the modern production process for PVC is also environmentally friendly, an average European PVC production plant would need to be operating for 30,000 years to produce the same amount of dioxins generated on one bonfire night.