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PVC Governmental Policies
In response to PVC’s toxic threats, governments all around the world have passed sweeping policies to phase out PVC and switch to safer, healthier consumer products. We’ve highlighted just some of the many PVC-free policies and included links to in-depth resources on PVC-free governmental policies.
Nationwide Bans on PVC
Sweden first proposed restrictions on PVC use in 1995 and is working toward discontinuing all PVC uses. In Spain, over 60 cities have been declared PVC-free. Germany has banned the disposal of PVC in landfills as of 2005, is minimizing the incineration of PVC, and is encouraging the phaseout of PVC products that cannot easily be recycled. Since 1986, at least 274 communities in Germany have enacted restrictions against PVC.
Restrictions on PVC Children’s Toys and Baby Products
Restrictions or bans have been placed on phthalates in PVC toys in the entire European Union, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Iceland Mexico, Norway, and Sweden. In 1998, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reached a voluntary agreement with manufacturers to remove two phthalates from PVC rattles, teethers, pacifiers and baby bottle nipples. Despite this, phthalates are still commonly added to PVC children’s toys and baby products in the United States. San Francisco became the first city in the U.S. to ban phthalates used in soft PVC children’s toys in June, 2006. Similar legislation to restrict phthalates in children’s toys was introduced in 2006 in the states of California, Maryland, and Minnesota but failed after intense lobbying by the chemical industry.
PVC-Free Governmental Purchasing Policies
A number of U.S. cities have passed procurement policies to phase out the purchase of products such as PVC that contribute to dangerous toxic pollution. In December, 2005, New York City passed legislation that will reduce the City’s purchase of PVC, wielding its $11 billion annual purchasing budget to drive markets for safer, environmentally friendly products. Other U.S. cities such as Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, and Buffalo have passed similar purchasing measures.
Bans on PVC Packaging
PVC packaging has been banned or restricted in a number of countries around the world, such as Canada, Spain, South Korea and the Czech Republic. Some U.S. cities such as Rahway, NJ and Glen Cove, NY have prohibited the use of PVC in food packaging or utensils.
Learn More! Key PVC Governmental Policy Resources
- BE SAFE Precautionary Policy Clearinghouse
- Greenpeace list of PVC Policies Worldwide
- PVC and PBT Policies from Around the World