“PVC has stood the test of time and continues to reinvent itself to fulfil the needs of a modern society that is looking for a way to combine innovation with sustainability and responsible practices.”
This is the message from Delanie Bezuidenhout, CEO of the Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA), as the association recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of PVC amidst the news that SAVA has been welcomed as a member of the prestigious PVCMedAlliance – a global network of international manufacturers and stakeholders in the PVC industry that raise awareness and promote informed decisions about the use of PVC in healthcare delivery around the world.
“PVC is one of the oldest synthetic materials with the longest history in industrial production. Since its first application, PVC has continued to have a dramatic and lasting impact on modern life as we know it today. With more than 40 % of all plastic-based disposable medical devices used in hospitals made from PVC, it is a material that has proven it is here to stay in filling a much-needed space in a variety of different industries,” Delanie says.
Considering the size and impact of PVC around the world, a significant milestone was recently reached for the South African vinyls industry, with the news that SAVA is now one of only two associations worldwide to belong to the PVCMedAlliance.
This membership allows SAVA to highlight the quality, safety and environmentally responsible uses of vinyl within the healthcare environment as well as to promote the research and development within the industry which will ultimately create even more uses for the material.
“For the first time we are now granted access to a valuable repository of information and groundbreaking research which we can share with experts around the world,” Delanie says. “It strengthens our voice as we educate the community and medical fraternity about the important role of vinyls in the medical industry and encourage dialogue within the industry.”
However, Delanie points out that it is not just the medical industry that continues to enjoy the focus and attention of SAVA, but many other industries where vinyl is extensively used and found, such as the building and construction industries.
“PVC has been in wide-scale use for more than 50 years. It meets international standards for safety and health in the applications in which it is used, as well as the SANS 10400 guidelines for energyefficient buildings as prescribed by the SABS.”
“When it was first developed, issues such as recyclability and the responsible use of additives were not important. During recent years, however, vinyl has successfully reinvented itself in order to address the historical environmental concerns of PVC and improve its environmental performance.”
“Taking these issues to heart, local manufacturers of vinyl products belonging to SAVA have all committed themselves to the responsible and sustainable use of additives, the implementation of a sustainable recycling programme and the promotion of a healthy vinyls industry through the association’s Product Stewardship Programme,” she says.
“We are looking forward to what the next 100 years will hold for PVC. We are proud of the long and illustrious history of this product, and the many applications that continue to be developed using vinyl on a daily basis. We raise our glasses to salute and toast a centenarian that is fit, healthy and strong and look forward to an exciting and illustrious future filled with innovation and invention!” Delanie concludes.