PVC recycling

December 21st, 2022

Our research is helping to improve processes and specifications for PVC recycling.

The challenge

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the more commonly produced polymers but is challenging to recycle due to the wide variety of additives and stabilisers used in production. Additives and stabilisers dramatically affect the ability to reprocess, remanufacture and recycle PVC effectively.

Historically, effective PVC recycling has relied on a depth of knowledge by experienced operators, who use visual cues and measurements from the extruder to determine what additives need to be incorporated into a given blend of recyclate.

Our response

With the financial support of Sustainability Victoria’s Research and Development Grant, CSIRO is collaborating with industry partner Think Fencing to develop tools to automate the decision-making system.In parallel, we are working with the PVC industry to develop a set of material specifications which will help to ensure quality standards for recyclers, compounders, and manufacturers.


This new process will allow manufacturers and compounders to incorporate PVC blends from a wide variety of sources of pre- and post-consumer waste, and process those blends into PVC flakes that meet material specifications. This will vastly increase the amount of PVC that can be recycled.

For more information, please contact Qamar Schuyler at qamar.schuyler@csiro.au, or see our report, PVC Recycling in Australia, where we outline barriers and opportunities for PVC recycling here in Australia.

PVC specifications will help increase PVC recycling rates.

Senior Research Scientist