Capturing sunlight to energise your home and office is a sensible and environmentally friendly endeavor. But what if there is no room for solar panels? What if they just don’t fit the design? Belgium’s Sioen pursued the concept of “textile architecture” to develop SioSolar.

By incorporating photovoltaic cells into high-tech textiles, SioSolar PVC-coated fabrics can turn tents, trailers and other structures into small-scale power plants.

Did you know that power lines kill about 0.5% of the bird population in France every year and that a PVC helix on the cables can help to protect them?

Thanks to a new PVC compound developed by Solvay Benvic Iberica, it’s possible to produce a helical profile that can be attached easily to mid-tension lines. The bright colors of the helix work as visual alarms for the birds which will likely avoid the cables and safely continue their way.
Even a relatively limited number of helixes can be efficient if they are placed on the main migration routes.

How to apply car technology to furniture? Auto parts giant Impex used its expertise in comfort and automotive accessories to strike out on a new path: transportable PVC furniture.

The idea was born from a brainstorming session among the marketing team, indicates Geoffroy Simon, the company’s marketing manager.

French-based Nicoll has reinvented the rainwater gutter using PVC with a lot of clever twists. Called Vodalis, it is  innovative enough to have won two design awards. When tested, it has proven its toughness even in extreme weather conditions.

The design has a patented shape with an anti-droplet device to protect the wall of the gutter from dirt and marking. The gutter has a slim edge for better aesthetics, and pipe clips are concealed thanks to their rear installation, with no visible screws.

The PVC industry knows it, so do regulators and consumers: the environmental footprint from all plastics needs to be reduced. In the case of PVC, this is particularly important  as demand is set to increase in the coming years.

One of the biggest challenges this century is how to ensure access to food and water for a world population that’s to top 9 billion by 2050. How to better protect and transport those supplies over long distances and periods of time? How to guarantee optimal safety and environmental performance?

One answer: flexitanks made from PVC-coated textiles developed by Belgium’s Sioen Industries. Bert Groenendaal, the company’s R&D project coordinator, headed the team that developed such innovative material that’s easy to clean and recyclable.

The development of a new glass-fiber reinforced PVC core material, combined with a visually pleasing, easy-care and weather-resistant PVC covering layer is the basis for the new window profile system GENEO proposed by Rehau.

Here’s the riddle: how to stretch high-pressure PVC pipes for drinking water without weakening them? Could it be done without using lubricants? Rollepaal’s Rblue took on this challenge head-on with an invisible solution based on air and molecular orientation.

“These PVC pipes show astonishing resistance to pressure and are almost unbreakable,” says Rollepaal CEO Rob Spekreijse. However, the production process for these special pipes has traditionally been rather tricky and difficult to control. All of that changed thanks to Rollepaal’s innovative solutions to old problems.

Here’s a shocking statistic if you didn’t know it: every year 12 million people die due to the lack of drinkable water. Attacking that silent killer, the Spanish company Renolit Iberica has applied its innovative brainpower to develop PVC sheeting which saves that precious resource to drink and irrigate.

With global PVC demand expected to reach 50 million tons by 2020, it is more important than ever to find ways to sustainably produce and promote the use of vinyl products. Aimed at shedding limelight on pioneers in this field whose hard work often goes unnoticed, the Plastic Sustainability Award was born. This year,the prize went to Werner Preusker, managing director of Arbeitsgemeinschaft PVC und Umwelt  - AGPU – which is the German Association for PVC and Environment.