Ahead of AMI's PVC Formulation US 2024 event, John Scott shares insights into challenges facing the PVC industry in North America.
What are the key challenges currently facing the PVC industry?
The polyvinyl chloride (PVC) industry faces significant challenges from regulatory pressures and consumer perception. Increasingly stringent environmental regulations demand the re-formulation of PVC compounds, compelling the industry to find alternative raw materials. Consumer perception plays a pivotal role in shaping market demand. Public concerns about the environmental and health impacts of PVC products, influence consumer choices. The industry must navigate these regulatory constraints and continue to actively communicate its environmental benefits to a more environmentally conscious consumer base.
What are the emerging technologies or innovations in PVC formulation that have the potential to disrupt or improve the market?
The challenges identified earlier present unique opportunities for businesses to introduce innovative products. Additives that enhance sustainability by increasing durability are particularly poised to make a significant impact on the market. Both flexible and rigid PVC formulations have seen improvements in durability thanks to advancements in materials technology. Additives that can further boost this durability will lessen the need for new, virgin compounds for product replacements. Additionally, these additives offer improved recycling advantages due to the enhanced heat stability of the products, leading to an overall more efficient and environmentally friendly lifecycle for PVC items.
To what extent have sustainability and environmental concerns influenced industry practices in recent years? What changes are being made and what changes need to be made to address these challenges?
The PVC industry has shown remarkable adaptability in embracing new materials technologies and continuously finding ways to enhance sustainability. We are fortunate to be part of such a dynamic industry, surrounded by outstanding professionals. Together, we're collaborating to establish recycling programs, develop standards to meet regulatory requirements, and provide formulators with options for re-engineering compounds. The key to our continued success lies in our willingness to keep evolving and adapting to new challenges.
Given the evolving landscape of PVC alternatives, how can the industry adapt to maintain PVC’s relevance and competitiveness?
To maintain its relevance and competitiveness amidst evolving alternatives, the PVC industry must focus on innovation and sustainability. This involves developing eco-friendly additives, advancing recycling technologies, and diversifying products to meet specific market needs. Collaboration with regulators and stakeholders is crucial to ensure compliance while understanding tomorrow’s environmental standards. Industry should continue to improve consumer perceptions through education and marketing, maintaining cost-effectiveness, and enhancing energy efficiency. Additionally, ongoing research and development, exploring new global markets, and forming strategic partnerships are key to adapting to changing demands and sustaining PVC's position in the market.
You will be speaking at the PVC Formulation North America, could you give us a little preview on what you will be talking about?
Our company invented synthetic hydrotalcite and was the first to commercially produce this product. In this presentation we will introduce the audience to its structure and its use as a heat stabilizer in PVC. The presentation will show the performance of hydrotalcite in various PVC formulations.
PVC Formulation is taking place February 27-28, 2024 in Cleveland, OH, USA. Find out more