End-of-life flexible PVC floor coverings potentially contain ‘legacy plasticizers,’ which can no longer be used today for reasons of consumer protection and which have been replaced in the EU by safer alternatives. Recovery of PVC in virgin-like quality through state-of-the-art recycling of flooring therefore requires a technically sophisticated separation of the legacy plasticizers.
The new EU project, CIRCULAR FLOORING, will meet this challenge with an innovative plastics recycling process called CreaSolv® (registered trademark of the CreaCycle GmbH), patented by the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV. The objective is to gently recycle end-of-life PVC floor coverings by dissolving and removing respective substances to achieve a high-quality virgin-like PVC material that is processed into granules. These granules are ready for re-use in new floor covering products, allowing them to be compliant with current EU legislation and to meet consumer expectations regarding circular economy. CIRCULAR FLOORING aims to introduce the CreaSolv® process for PVC recycling on a technical scale.
CIRCULAR FLOORING began in early June 2019 and will receive about 5.4 million Euros of EU funding from Horizon 2020, the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, until May 2023. 11 companies and research institutes from five European countries will execute the project, which is being coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute IVV in Freising.
thinkstep is a partner in this EU-project, and we will contribute our expertise in sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) toward its success.