White Paper Looks at Vinyl's Sustainability

March 26, 2012

The Vinyl Material Council of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association has published a new white paper discussing the sustainability of vinyl.  The document focuses on the merits of vinyl in fenestration as well as in other applications–from safety and longevity to its recyclable nature and reliable historical performance.

“Ultimately, this document highlights the critical role vinyl plays in sustaining the environment, as well as its versatility,” says Hallie Smith-Petee of PolyOne, who chaired the task group that put together the white paper.

Significant portions of the white paper are devoted to how vinyl measures up in terms of four conditions for sustainability:

  • Carbon neutrality–the consideration of the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere as a result of the manufacture and use of the product in its intended application
  • Controlled waste management system–the minimization of the amount of material going into the waste stream and the avoidance of a concentration of material not naturally occurring; includes considerations for product longevity, scrap recycling and post-industrial recycling
  • Zero-emissions–the assurance that persistent organic compounds from the whole life cycle do not result in systematic increases in concentration in nature
  • Zero accumulation of toxic materials in nature–the assurance that no accumulation of toxic materials occurs in nature as a result of the product life cycle

The document also covers issues related to environmental impact, recyclability, low dioxin releases and fire safety.  It is available for free download from the AAMA web site.