George Dimond, Mark Holtes, Adri Spangenberg, Alistair Calder, Tandy Coleman and Fulufhelo Mamathoni and Richard Black were at the SAVA AGM

SAVA to ‘revolutionise’ the local PVC industry

THE Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) used its recent AGM in Midrand, Johannesburg, to launch two very important initiatives that stand to revolutionise the local PVC industry.

Speaking at the event, SAVA Chief Executive Officer, Adri Spangenberg, said that worldwide the plastics industry has come under threat and been placed under severe scrutiny.

“However, this should not in any way diminish the important role plastics plays in our modern lives. Whether being used in life-saving medical devices, to providing clean water to communities around the globe, PVC plastic in particular is used in a wide variety of different shapes, forms and applications to improve, protect and save lives every day,” Adri said.


Growing market

The local PVC market is diverse and growing. Whilst the largest majority of the market (approximately 50%) belongs to the PVC pipe industry, various other applications and uses for PVC have also been developed, such as cabling (17%), profiles (9%), conduits and accessories (6%) and film (6%).


Exciting opportunities for the SA vinyl’s industry

Unpackaging some of the challenges and opportunities facing the local vinyl’s industry in South Africa at the moment, Sian Cohen, Business Development Key Accounts Specialist at the Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA) highlighted the importance of taking a long-term view when accessing the “green credentials” of PVC products in her talk entitled, “Growing sustainably – what does the future hold of green buildings in SA?”

According to Cohen, resource scarcity, rapid urbanisation and technology are three of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing societies around the world today. However, vinyl products such as flooring, windows and doors, piping and wiring continue to be widely used in building and construction projects have and have an ever-important role to play in creating sustainable societies in the years to come.

“It is vital for us to consider the full lifecycle of a product, from cradle to grave, when evaluating the environmental impact it has on the environment,” she said, acknowledging that PVC has made considerable progress in improving its sustainability credentials and winning the approval of the GBCSA.

Concerted efforts by SAVA and its members to phase out of hazardous heavy metals and potentially dangerous compounds from the PVC production process (including mercury, lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, Chlorinated Paraffins (CP), EDC and VCM, Bisphenol A and DEHP) and the launch of various recycling initiatives and objectives as part of their Product Stewardship Commitment, has resulted in the GBCSA withdrawing the Mat-7 PVC Minimisation credit from the Green Star SA rating system in 2011, recognition of the value and significant benefits PVC products can offer to modern buildings and communities.


Launching the Vinyl. brand

SAVA members who are able to prove that they comply with the association’s Product Stewardship Commitment (PSC) are awarded the new Vinyl. logo, which they are encouraged to display on their products, website and other marketing material.

Explains Adri: “We are hoping to establish the Vinyl. brand as a sign of excellence that gives end-users of locally manufactured PVC products immediate peace of mind and consumer confidence. When they see this logo, they will know that the product meets international safety and quality standards and that it complies with the industry’s Product Stewardship Commitment that specifies sustainable manufacturing, the sustainable and responsible use of additives, closed loop management and a sustainability awareness”.

The process of proving compliance will have to be repeated each year and the logo will be updated annually. This year, 21 SAVA’s members were awarded certificates and the rights to display the Vinyl. 2019 logo on their products at this year’s AGM.


Clingfilm compliance

Clingfilm is one of the PVC products that is frequently criticised with health concerns over migration levels, use of harmful substances etc. In an effort to address these issues, SAVA has launched a PVC Clingfilm Compliance Framework, which applies to raw material suppliers, Intermediate Compounders, Converters or Film Manufacturers and Distributors and Importers to Wholesale and Retail markets, to be headed up by George Dimond

“PVC clingfilm has been widely and commercially used since the 1950’s to wrap and protect foods such as vegetable, fruit, meat, biscuit, etc. It offers a high clarity, puncture resistant packaging solution that keeps food fresher for longer, allows for quick, visual identification and has literally revolutionised the food industry,” George says.

SAVA’s clingfilm compliance framework creates a detailed guidance document whereby industry members:

  1. Sign a Declaration of Compliance (DoC) that all raw materials, intermediates and substances used in the manufacture of their PVC Clingfilm, have been Food Approved
  2. Agree to comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
  3. Agree to the use of correct and approved labelling codes together with “Intended Use “information
  4. Agree to have their products and documents at every level in supply chain audited by an independent SAVA representative

“We are very excited about launching this Clingfilm Compliance Framework as the first of its kind in South Africa. We believe it will answer important questions, clarify misinformation and separate truth from fiction. The fact that the clingfilms will be independently sampled and tested to ensure compliance to health, safety and environmental standards before they are able to display the Vinyl-dot logo, will play a major role in establishing consumer trust,” George adds.


Electing SAVA board members for 2019

SAVA members had the opportunity to vote for board members they wanted to represent their interests this coming year during the AGM, as well as cast their ballots for SAVA Chairman. Alastair Calder (Sun Ace SA) stepped down as Chairman owing to work commitments. George Dimond was elected as the new Chairman. The rest of the SAVA Board for 2019 remains unchanged from the previous year:

  • George Dimond (Continental Compounders)
  • Alistair Calder (Sun Ace SA)
  • Richard Black (Elco Plastics)
  • Fulufhelo Mamathoni (SASOL)
  • Mark Holtes (Isegen)
  • Tandy Coleman (Polyflor SA)
  • Adri Spangenberg (CEO)


Looking ahead

“We are very excited about the future of SAVA as an association and the trajectory of the international PVC Community. A lot of our attention and energy this past year were focussed on preparing our submission for the Industry Waste Management Plan,” Adri said.

“We are eager to move forward on addressing other important aspects that have a direct impact on the size, future and growth of the local vinyls industry. Despite a difficult economic climate, SAVA has welcomed various new members and we have managed to grow our footprint. We are hoping to continue this growth in membership and influence in the months to come as we adopt the international theme of ‘Accelerating Innovation’ and encourage our members to apply global best practices in their day to day activities, think outside the box when it comes to creating solutions and acting responsibly in every aspect of their business.”