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Olympics recycled PVC for 2014 World Cup

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has proved a popular choice in the construction of facilities for the London 2012 Olympic Games, with more than 142,000 square metres of PVC fabric used in the Park and external sites. Moreover, careful planning and strict guidelines for PVC use and recycling techniques issued by the Olympic organisers in 2009 look to have defused any controversial issues surrounding the product’s usage.

As a result of this policy developed by London 2012,  PVC used at the Games includes at least 30% recycled content, is manufactured in accordance with the ECVM Industry Charter, meets standards for effluent discharges and vent gases, and does not contain (amongst other substances) lead, mercury or cadmium stabilisers.

The credibility of the sustainable VinylPlus initiative, which builds on the success of the Vinyl 2010 ten-year voluntary commitment to enhance the sustainable production and use of PVC, has undoubtedly been strengthened by these policies put forward by London 2012.

PVC at the 2012 London Olympics

  • Aquatics Centre (Zaha Hadid): 15,000 PVC temporary chairs and 8,000 m² PVC external wrap
  • Velodrome (Hopkins Architects): 2,600 m² of PVC in high-performance surface        
  • Royal Artillery Barracks shooting venue (Magma Architecture): 22,000 m² of PVC membrane
  • Olympics Stadium (Populous): extensive use of PVC

After the London event, all temporary structures will be dismantled and recycled. A system of crushing, selective dissolving, fibre separation, PVC precipitation and solvent regeneration will ensure that recycled PVC is of a high quality and can be reused with minimum impact on the environment. This process can easily separate PVC from other materials such as natural textiles, metals and rubber, and was used to process 7,540 tonnes of waste by Serge Ferrari in 2011.

It is even planned that some of the recycled PVC from London 2012 will be used in football stadiums currently under construction in Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup… continuing a sustainable product chain to the next great world sporting event!