Ever wondered how old PVC-U window frames are transformed into brand new ones? Well wonder no more as Richard Hardstaff, General Manager at PVCR, explains it all:
Q: How easy is it to recycle PVC?
A: PVC is very straightforward to recycle and can be mixed with virgin polymer to give it a whole new lease of life. PVC can be recycled up to 10 times.
Q: Can any recycled plastic be used to make new window frames?
A: The types of material we deal with at PVCR are best recycled into new versions of themselves – so old PVC windows are transformed into new ones, old water bottles are made into new water bottles etc.
Q: Which PVC window frames can be recycled?
A: Ideally we want good quality de-glazed window and door frames to ensure the recycled material is of a good standard. Laminated frames are also OK to recycle.
Q: What processes are involved in recycling PVC?
A: Firstly, the frames are broken down and put into a shredder to reduce the size of the material, and any metal is removed. Next, the material is put in water and essentially everything we want sinks. We then separate the material again using a vacuum to ensure any rubber or leftover metal is removed before it goes into the granulator.
The granulator reduces the material to 10mm in size, before its washed, dried and put through electrostatic separation to remove any remaining residue or organic material. Its then colour sorted before the clean, white PVC material is ready to send to REHAU’s factory in Wales.
Q: What is the PVC material used for in the manufacturing process?
A: After being cleaned and lab tested, the white PVC material is sent to REHAU’s factory in Blaenau, where it used to make TOTAL70 co-extruded profiles.
Q: Is there growing demand for recycled PVC?
A: We have seen a dramatic increase in demand and by 2019 our capacity will have doubled, if not tripled.
Q: What’s the reason behind this uplift in demand?
A: Consumer demand is the main driver. By using recycled plastic, businesses can meet the needs of eco-conscious customers, give their products a USP, and do their bit for the environment.
For more information and to see the process in action visit www.pvcr.co.uk
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