No doubt if PVC had been a new material trying to get acceptance it would have struggled and may well have failed but as it was a huge international industry there was money invested in trying to change the public perception as well as to address the technical areas that were seen to be most unacceptable.
PVC was believed not to be capable of recycling. This has been proved to be untrue and since the year 2000 more than 1 million tonnes of PVC has been recycled in Europe alone. Cadmium was used as a stabiliser in PVC but this was eliminated by the year 2001. Lead was one alternative which was also not ideal and this was addressed with its use being slowly reduced. There was an 86% reduction in use by the end of 2014 and it was expected to see its use elimination by the end of 2015 although this is yet to be confirmed. Similarly work was done to reduce the emissions of vinyl chloride monomer and dioxins. Included in this development work was ways to reduce energy consumption and they are more than half way to making their target of a 20% reduction in energy consumption by 2020.
So over the last 20 years it is interesting to see the changing fortunes of an industry that from being under threat of being shut down by legislation then focussed its research and development to change the production, recycling and disposal technology to make it not only an acceptable material but also a growth business with a bright future.