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10 Mar 2000

  • The first voluntary commitment of the European PVC industry is signed by ECVM (vinyl resin producers), ECPI (PVC plasticiser producers), ESPA (PVC stabiliser producers) and EuPC (PVC converters).

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10 Jan 2001

  • Vinyl 2010 is officially born with support from ECVM (vinyl resin producers), ECPI (PVC plasticiser producers), ESPA (PVC stabiliser producers) and EuPC (PVC converters).
  • The use of cadmium in all stabiliser systems placed on the EU-15 market, as well as Norway and Switzerland, was phased out in March 2001.
  • ESPA members commit to carrying out initial risk assessments on lead-based stabilisers under the CEFIC and ICCA programmes “Confidence in Chemicals”.
  • ESPA members commit to a plan for full replacement of lead-based stabilisers by 2015 in EU-15.

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10 Feb 2002

  • 6% reduction in lead-based stabilisers use in the first two years

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10 Jan 2003

  • Recovinyl is set-up to boost PVC recycling across Europe including applications containing lead stabilisers

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10 Mar 2004

  • First interim target of a 15% lead-based stabilisers reduction was achieved in 2004 – one year ahead of the original schedule.
  • Consumption of calcium organic stabilisers doubled between 2000 and 2004

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10 Feb 2005

  • Voluntary Risk Assessment on lead and lead-based compounds carried out by independent experts finalised in 2005 and submitted to the European Commission. Results show that – with respect to the general population – there is no need for concern from environmental exposure to lead and lead-based compounds, but also that occupational exposure in stabiliser plants should be further reduced.
  • ESPA members agree to implement a programme, called LiBRE (Lead in Blood Reduction Programme), aiming at reducing worker’s exposure.
  • ESPA members achieved a reduction of 20,2% from 127,156 tonnes in 2000 to 101,519 tonnes by end 2005

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10 Jan 2006

  • Sales of cadmium stabilisers come to an end in all EU-25.
  • The European Commission started the review of the Voluntary Risk Assessment on lead in March 2006.

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10 Mar 2007

  • Following the EU enlargement, the commitment to phase out lead-based stabilisers by 2015 is extended to the EU-27.
  • ESPA members achieved a 34% reduction in the use of lead-based stabilisers in the period 2000-2007 in the EU-15.

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10 Feb 2008

  • ESPA members report that lead-based stabiliser use in the EU-15 has been reduced by over 50% since 2000 (-66,552 tonnes), some two years ahead of the 2010 interim target.
  • For EU 27, this represents a decrease of 27,000 tonnes in production of lead-based stabilisers compared to 2007.

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10 Jan 2009

  • ESPA successfully reached the 50% lead-based stabilisers reduction in 2008, ahead of the 2010 interim target.
  • In 2009, lead-based stabilisers in the EU-15 decreased by 86,835 tonnes (-68.3%).
  • In the same period, 2007-2009, calcium-based stabilisers (in the EU-15) increased by 47,864 tonnes.
  • It has to be mentioned that the impact of the economic crisis affected the PVC consumption and consequently, the stabilisers figures as well. This has also contributed to the year 2009 lead-based stabilisers’ decrease.
  • For EU 27, this represents a decrease of 51,070 tonnes in production of lead-based stabilisers compared to 2007.

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10 Mar 2010

  • ESPA members announced a further reduction in lead-based stabilisers use in the EU-15, having decreased 75,9% (-96,448 tonnes) since 2000.
  • ESPA successfully reached the 50% lead-based stabilisers reduction in 2008, ahead of the 2010 interim target.
  • In the same period, calcium-based stabilisers (in EU-15 plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey) increased by 60,171 tonnes.

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10 Feb 2011

  • VinylPlus, the new 10 year sustainable development programme of the European PVC industry is launched to give continuity to the work of Vinyl 2010. ESPA reaffirms its commitments and continues as one of the four funding members.
  • The commitment to replace lead-based stabilisers in EU27 by 2015 is reconfirmed by the VinylPlus members.
  • A number of new initiatives are launched within the VinylPlus framework, i.e. an Additives Task Force to work out robust criteria for the ‘sustainable use of additives’.
  • A reduction of 71.4% in the consumption of lead-based stabilisers is achieved by ESPA’s members in EU27 compared to 2007.

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10 Mar 2012

  • In the period 2007-2012, lead-based stabiliser consumption decreased by 76,364 tonnes (-76, 37%) in the EU-27.
  • In the same period, calcium-based stabilisers (in EU-27 plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey) increased by 29,470 tonnes.
  • Other PVC additives producers and downstream value chain are invited to participate in the “sustainable additives” initiative.

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10 Mar 2013

  • The use of lead-based stabilisers declined by 81,372 tonnes (-81, 4%) in the EU-27 compared to 2007.
  • Calcium-based stabilisers increased by 30,643 tonnes in the EU-27 plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

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10 Mar 2014

  • The commitment to substitute lead-based stabilisers by 2015 is extended to the EU-28 (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom)
  • In the 2007-2014 period, lead-based stabilisers usage decreased by 86,228 tonnes (- 86%), and calcium-based stabilisers increased by 29,472 tonnes.

Lead Replacement

In 2000, the European Stabiliser Producers Association (ESPA) committed to replace lead-based stabilisers by the end of 2015 across the EU. Stabilisers producers invested considerably in time and resources to develop alternatives to the widely used lead-based systems. The close collaboration of manufacturers and downstream users was critical in this process.

The development of alternative stabilisers to lead for PVC systems in Europe had begun in the late 1990s. However, the industry received a major boost when the Voluntary Commitment of the European PVC industry to sustainable development was created, first under Vinyl2010 and since 2011 under the VinylPlus programme.

ESPA members worked very closely with converters to resolve any remaining issues that could prevent them from completing the switch and to help reformulate remaining applications that still rely on lead-based stabilisers.

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Brochure
: The journey to lead replacement in Europe

Facts & Figures

By the end of 2015, ESPA members completed the replacement of lead-based (Pb) stabilisers in all their formulations sold in the EU-28 market.

2016022 ESPA Pb stabilisers consumption in the EU 28

Video

ESPA: Yes we made it! Find out the journey to lead stabilisers replacement in Europe.

Testimonials