What is PVC Plastic?

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If we bring all types of plastic and rank them based on the most produced types, then PVC plastic comes in third place; meaning it’s the third most produced plastic all over the world. It is also one of the oldest types of plastic, as its roots go back to the 20th century when it was originally manufactured and produced. We have a lot of information to share with you regarding PVC plastic, so continue reading our blog post on all the details of PVC plastic.

PVC Plastic

Construction workers

PVC plastic or Polyvinyl Chloride is naturally white and very brittle, and it comes in two forms; the rigid type of plastic and the flexible type. The first type, rigid PVC, is mostly associated with construction whereas the softer type of PVC is used in numerous other applications and industries.

Applications of rigid PVC plastic:

  • Constructions
  • PVC piping
  • Door frames
  • Window frames
  • Healthcare industry

Applications of flexible PVC plastic:

  • Construction areas
  • Plumbing supplies and materials
  • PVC piping
  • Electrical cable insulation
  • PVC flooring
  • Signage
  • Imitation leathers
  • Inflatable boats
  • Wastewater pipes

The use of rigid or flexible Polyvinyl Chloride depends greatly on the product itself, nevertheless, there are two main industries that use PVC plastic heavily in their production. They are the healthcare industry with its need for medical equipment, and the other industry which is constructed with its need for pipes and cable insulation.

PVC Plastic Advantages and Disadvantages

There are many advantages to using Polyvinyl Chloride plastic, such as being cheap to purchase from suppliers, and it is easily accessible which helps buyers find it easily without hassle. When it comes to the features and qualities of PVC, it is praised for being hard, very dense, and having a high weather-resistant ability. Also, one of the great advantages of using PVC plastic examples and products is its high tensile strength, and its ability to resist various chemicals, such as ketones and esters, chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons, aromatic ethers and amines, and nitro-compounds.

Even though using PVC plastic is advantageous as we mentioned above, it has several disadvantages that cannot be overlooked. One of the cons of using PVC plastic is its poor heat endurance and stability, which forces manufacturers to add additives and stabilizers as a way to overcome this issue. Also, Polyvinyl Chloride plastic releases toxic fumes when it gets melted or is subject to fire and extreme heat, making the recycling process of PVC more difficult and challenging than the other types of plastic like PET plastic.  

Recycling PVC Plastic

Colored garbage bins

Like the other forms of plastic, Polyvinyl Chloride is recyclable. However, the cost of the recycling process differs based on the method that is used because some methods of recycling are less expensive than others.

If you own a plastic recycling plant, then you must be familiar with the methods of recycling PVC, but if you’re new to this then we provide you with all the used methods in recycling this type of plastic.

Methods of Recycling PVC Plastic

Each method of recycling Polyvinyl Chloride plastic includes its own professional steps and requirements which must be applied carefully to ensure the recycling process brings out great results.

Any recycling process begins with the collection of waste materials, then separating them into groups based on the raw materials they’re made from. For example, when you plan on recycling PVC plastic, you must separate it from PET plastic and HDPE plastic to ensure that you get quality results from recycling it.

After that comes to the step of washing and cleaning to remove all the liquids from the products and any material that is stuck inside or outside the containers or waste products.

Different plastics have different methods of recycling, and here are the most used methods of recycling PVC plastic all over the world:

  • Mechanical recycling: in this method of recycling, polyvinyl chloride plastic is mechanically separated, ground, washed, cleaned, and treated.
  • Chemical recycling: in chemical recycling, polyvinyl chloride is broken up into monomers and other materials.
  • Feedstock recycling: this method of recycling involves the thermal treatment of the Polyvinyl Chloride plastic product.

Products made from Recycled PVC Plastic

Plastic waste

Recycling plants sell or send the raw recycled PVC to producers and manufacturers who create products like these:

  • Packaging materials
  • Films and sheets
  • Loos-leaf binders
  • Water pipes
  • Carpets
  • Electrical cables
  • Electrical boxes
  • Medical tools
  • Construction materials


What does PVC plastic stand for?

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride or vinyl and is referred to with Number 3 in regard to recycling.

Is PVC plastic toxic?

It is hard to rule out whether PVC plastic is or isn’t toxic, but it is hated for many reasons. Firstly, it releases toxic fumes when burnt or melted which makes its recycling process more expensive than other types. Secondly, it has chlorine content and additives like plasticizers which have a negative impact on the environment and humans when used in huge amounts. To overcome this issue, these toxicants are used in small amounts, making them safer for the environment we live in and the creatures interacting with them.

Can PVC Plastic be recycled?

Yes, PVC can be recycled in recycling plants in Qatar or any other country. It is also referred to with the number 3 to distinguish it from other types of plastic. Generally, the cost of recycling PVC is higher than other types of plastic which require careful treatment and handling from recycling experts.

Qatar MCC offers a wide range of waste management services in Qatar to help companies of all sizes deal with their waste regardless of the industry they work in, so reach out to us anytime.

We reached the end of our blog post on PVC plastic and everything related to it from its definition, examples, recycling methods, and the pros and cons of using PVC products. We hope you benefitted from our interesting and informative content, and we encourage you to check out Qatar MCC blog for further blog posts.

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