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.