Vinyl Foundation Frequently Asked Questions

Why has the Vinyl Foundation been set up - and why now?

The European PVC industry has a duty to meet the targets set out in the VinylPlus Voluntary Commitment. VinylPlus, the continuation of Vinyl 2010, has been set up to address the whole lifecycle of PVC, so logically the entire value chain has an obligation to financially support this initiative. Raw material producers contribute through their membership in ECVM, ESPA and ECPI. Some funding has been provided by the PVC converting industry to date, but this has been aimed to support application specific recycling schemes. The Vinyl Foundation has been set up to meet the growing need to support mixed PVC waste streams, where there is a shared responsibility; and to spread these costs more equitably across the whole PVC value chain.

What is VinyPlus?

VinylPlus is the European PVC industry's sustainable development Voluntary Commitment. Officially launched in 2011, the programme will give continuity to the work and achievements done by Vinyl 2010 sin the year 2000. VinylPlus has been recognised by stakeholders internationally, and it is in the process of being registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development as it was the case for Vinyl 2010. Visit www.vinylplus.eu for additional information.

Don't the converters already pay into VinylPlus?

As members of ECVM, ESPA and ECPI, European raw materials producers have always contributed at least 70% of the funding towards the completion of the Voluntary Commitment targets. To achieve the 30% balance of funding required for this is a shared responsibility that needs to be spread equitably across the whole converting sector.

What is the difference between the Vinyl Foundation and VinylPlus?

The Vinyl Foundation is a funding mechanism to support the work done by the entire PVC value-chain as part of the VinylPlus programme. The Foundation has been incorporated as a Belgian legal entity based upon recent legislation (Stitching/Fondation) by the converting sector to collect its 30% funding obligation for VinylPlus. Recycling and sustainability activities will continue to be carried out by VinylPlus.

How will the Vinyl Foundation payment scheme work in practice?

The process is based on self-classification by the European PVC converters who will be requested to supply PVC purchasing annual volumes information to determine under which payment category they fall in. There are 11 different intervals depending on the combination of rigid and flexible PVC production minus export sales.

What is expected of converters?

Converters will be asked to contribute a fixed sum per tonne of PVC resin bought and processed, not including exports outside EU-28. Companies will receive an invoice the Vinyl Foundation. All information will be handled confidentially.

How can the Vinyl Foundation verify the information provided by converters?

The latest number being used are from 2008 but companies can provide a more recent self-classification including an audit report.

How much will Vinyl Foundation contributions be?

Contributions to the Vinyl Foundation range from 750 to 75,000 Euros depending on the number of tonnes of PVC processed annually.

Why is there a difference between the contributions set for rigid and flexible applications?

Contribution levels have been set to reflect the funding requirements for recycling different types of PVC products where rigid PVC needs a significantly lower investment than flexible applications. To calculate the payment category for a particular company, the number of flexible PVC tonnes is multiplied by 3.5.

What will the tax and VAT implications of payments into the Vinyl Foundation be?

Contributions will be VAT exempt both between the converters and the Vinyl Foundation and the Vinyl Foundation and the projects which it funds. Contributions can be considered as tax deductible in most EU countries.

Will Vinyl Foundation payments be on-going annual charges?

The initial commitment to the Vinyl Foundation is for a period of 3 years.

What will I get for contributing to the scheme?

Apart from sharing in the future of the industry by ensuring that it fulfils its obligations under the VinylPlus Voluntary Commitment, all converters who pay into the Vinyl Foundation will be recognized as official Partners. They will receive an official certificate and be able to use VinylPlus logo in electronic and printed materials.

What will being a VinylPlus partner do for me?

Being a VinylPlus Partner will show that your company is committed to sustainable development and will highlight the eco-efficiency of your PVC products. Converters can use the logo on their marketing materials, letterheads, business cards etc. A VinylPlus product label is being develop to identify products manufactured according to the VinylPlus principles. This certification will help purchasers and end-user select PVC products responsible.

But beside a potential image benefit, what value will contributing to the Vinyl Foundation add for my business?

The VinylPlus Voluntary Commitment is underpinning the sustainable development and political credibility of the whole European PVC industry, by transparently improving processes and closing the end of life PVC recycling loop. Contributions made via the Vinyl Foundation represent an investment in the long-term future of the European PVC industry.

I am not in a trade association. Can I still become a Partner of VinylPlus?

All European converters who purchase resin from a European producer can contribute to the Vinyl Foundation and be recognized as official VinylPlus Partner.

As an EuPC member, I am already contributing to VinylPlus through my national/sectorial association.Am I going to have to pay "twice"?

The level of Vinyl Foundation contributions has been calculated to reflect contributions already being made to existing recycling schemes. This is the fairest way of sharing the costs across the converter sector.

This contribution per tonne is equal to a hidden tax. Won't this increase the likelihood of production outside the European market?

The contribution requested per tonne through the Vinyl Foundation is modest. If VinylPlus fails to meet its obligations voluntarily, then based on the evidence of alternative mandatory recycling schemes that have been imposed across the EU, the cost to the industry in the long term would be far greater. The Vinyl Foundation trustees, themselves converters can see the importance of safeguarding the future of the European PVC industry and supporting a significantly more cost-efficient recycling system.