Vinyl Chloride: Recycling and Health

A series of new studies has pressure to phase out the use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) packaging.  Vinyl packaging is a menace in all stages of its lifecycle. Manufacturing of this plastic presents unique opportunities for the release of cancer-causing chemicals into the environment.  In the home and in the environment, these toxins can accumulate.  Once common additive in vinyl, phthalates, was banned in children's toys (but not other vinyl items) in 2007.  As solid waste, vinyl can release its toxins into the environment, especially worrisome dioxins.

PVC is largely non-recyclable due to the high costs involved with the process. Furthermore, due to its unique chemistry (the same chemistry that gives it its toxic properties), vinyl is a powerful contaminant in the recycling stream of other, non-toxic plastics.

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