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Giving PVC an environmental boost

Source:International Plastics News for Date:2019-08-16
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The innovative renewable polyol ester (non-phthalate) plasticiser, Pevalen™ Pro from Perstorp is designed to provide flexibility power to PVC. Based on a significantly lower carbon footprint compared with competing materials and technologies,  Pevalen™ Pro is expected to produce a more appealing variant of plastic products.  Pevalen™ Pro, being a renewable true non-phthalate plasticiser, strives to offer environmental boost as well as superior performance properties. 
Perstorp Global Marketing and Product Manager for the polyol ester plasticiser platform, Jenny Klevås, states that: “Brand owners and consumers are searching for new plastics and materials with a sustainable profile and low carbon footprint. We believe that flexible PVC with Pevalen™ Pro is the perfect combination as it offers precisely what they are looking for, that being a high-performance product with a significantly better environmental footprint.”
Launched in 2014, Pevalen™ is a true non-phthalate plasticiser that serves as a premium performance alternative to phthalates, particularly in complex and direct human contact applications where health concerns were and are still prevalent. Due to its plasticising efficiency requiring less material, faster processing requiring less energy, low volatility, high UV stability preventing premature ageing and unbeatable softness for long-life performance, Pevalen™ delivers not only cost-effectiveness, but also a low environmental effect solution to PVC producers.
The introduction of Pevalen™ Pro this year denotes a timely and substantial contribution to lowering the carbon footprint of PVC, stressing its significance as a sustainable material meeting environmental concerns.  
The sustainability issue   
Plastics have received much negative press, but plastic remains a highly beneficial material in many aspects including safety, cost-efficiency and durability. 
The excessive reliance on single-use plastics is honestly the major source for environmental concern but by contrast, PVC is already a very sustainable plastic material. Indeed, PVC has one of the smallest shares of carbon atoms, and being lightweight, flexible and durable, promotes sustainability through its properties, giving products a longer, and often maintenance-free, lifetime use.
PVC is also a recyclable material if made the right way, which the proactive Vinyl Plus* initiative, to which Perstorp belongs, is focusing upon. This PVC industry-funded commitment to sustainable development aims to increase the recycling capacity of PVC and improve the overall sustainability performance.
Plasticisers are critical to flexible PVC, and the environmental attractiveness of PVC can be significantly increased by using the right one. It is in this context that Pevalen™ Pro is being launched to unlock further pro-environmental gains. 
Unlocking the pro-environmental potentia
Currently, Pevalen™  has a clear cradle-to-gate sustainability advantage over leading plasticiser competitors, such as DINP, DOTP and DINCH, based on GWP (Global Warming Potential). As plasticisers make up a significant part of PVC (up to 40% in some applications) the potential for producers to lower their carbon footprint is already available today by using Pevalen™.
That pro-environmental advantage grows significantly by choosing the new renewable Pevalen™ Pro and it will be initially available with up to 40% renewable content, with the long-term potential of becoming fully renewable. This will be beneficial to all actors in the value chain and especially to brand owners in the main sensitive and close-to-people areas, such as coated fabrics, artificial leather, flooring, wall covering, automotive interiors and sports and leisure products. 
Pevalen™ Pro is a direct replacement for Pevalen™ with no compromise on quality and performance, making it very easy to switch to. The renewable grades are made under the Mass Balance concept and backed by third-party ISCC Certification, which guarantees that the bio-based input is sustainably sourced and lives up to the requirements set for a more liveable future.
Future Pevalen™ Pro grades will offer even higher levels of renewable content with the longer-term aim of helping Perstorp customers to transform to 100% renewable grades. Ms. Klevås concludes: “Pevalen™ Pro is another important step on our journey to becoming Finite Material Neutral, and with Pevalen Pro we can help our customers to make high-performance sustainable PVC products.”
Pevalen™ has been given food contact approval by FDA which verifies it is safe for food contact applications. The FCN 001967 (Food Contact Notification) from the FDA for the use of Pevalen™ as a plasticiser in PVC polymers renders it safe for use in repeated‐use food contact articles. The approval helps flexible PVC producers design products that meet the highest national regulatory requirements, without sacrificing performance or quality.  
Pevalen™ is the perfect choice for sensitive applications and products in direct human contact, e.g. apparel and accessories, sports & leisure products, automotive interiors or other indoor applications such as furniture, floors or wall coverings in both homes and public spaces. It has a unique performance not matched by any other general-purpose plasticiser with high plasticising efficiency in combination with low migration and volatility.
To date, global demand for non-phthalate plasticisers is predicted to continue to grow at about 100,000 tonnes per year. Based on this forecast, Perstorp is substantially expanding the production capacity of Pevalen™ from 2019 onwards. Perstorp has entered into a long-term production agreement with the Italian company Alcoplast Srl.. The new partnership more than doubles current production capacity, bringing it in total to 50,000 tonnes per year.  
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