Busting PVC Myths

There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and with businesses asserting that their products are ‘safe’, ‘eco-friendly’, and ‘sustainable’, it’s hard to know the truth: is this really the environmentally responsible choice, or am I just being sold a product? This is a definite problem in the banner industry, with claims about the recyclability, safety, and superiority of PVC remaining popular. We are here to set the record straight once and for all by busting some of the most prominent PVC myths!


Myth #1 – Nowadays, PVC can be recycled safely. 

We’ve all seen the claims – ‘our PVC is sustainable because it’s recyclable!’ There may have been a time when alleging recyclability was enough to encourage us to view that brand and product as environmentally friendly, but these days we want to know the exact details. The truth is, even recycled PVC products eventually end up in the ground, either as landfill or buried as contaminated incinerated fly ash and captured gas residues, slowly releasing their deadly toxins into the local environment. The banner recycling process is costly and it either leaves the PVC in the recycled products or, if separated, the PVC film cannot be broken down and the original PVC cannot be recovered. Either way, the PVC will eventually be landfilled or incinerated. The only way it can be truly ‘safely’ disposed of is by choosing a PVC-free banner in the first place.  

Myth #2 – PVC isn’t overly harmful. 

Unfortunately, busting this myth makes for a pretty unpleasant reading. PVC doesn’t readily degrade, and when it does it will give off toxic substances like dioxins and furans, which can be catastrophic in contaminating groundwater, rivers, food chains, and water sources. These substances cause cancer as well as causing reproductive and developmental problems, damaging the immune system and interfering with hormone balance in humans and animals even when it is supposedly recycled, the lack of curbside recycling and the inability to recover the PVC causes disastrous issues. Does that sound not overly harmful to you? 


Myth #3 – No material can match up to the quality and durability of PVC. 

You might be forgiven for having bought into this myth in the past, but with Kavalan on the scene, this myth has been well and truly busted! Kavalan looks, feels, welds, and performs like PVC banner with one key difference – none of the hidden nasties. Of course, we would say that, but there is no need to take our word for it. Equipment manufacturers, suppliers, wide-format printers, welding experts, creative specialists – so many industry pros hail Kavalan as a revolutionary alternative to traditional PVC. Click here to see what Sean Roberts from EFI VUTEk says about Kavalan. 

Myth #4 - Switching from PVC won’t make that much of a difference.

In 2018, Europe printed approximately 340 million square metres of PVC banner material, enough to cover Wembley Stadium 4,200 times in just one year. Knowing what we know about the harmful effects of PVC, replacing this with an environmentally friendly would certainly make a difference! There are some really useful stats that can give you a better idea of how going for Kavalan can make such an impact: if all 340 million square metres were replaced by Kavalan Sunlight 300, it could have saved enough drinking water for almost 7 million people for 1 year.


Myth #5 – The large-format industry needs PVC. 

Again, this might have once been true or at least felt like it. However, we also used to need the horse and cart to get around before cars were the norm, or landline telephones to stay in touch with friends before smartphones and the internet – things move on, new innovations that revolutionise industries are created, and we wonder how we ever lived without them. With Kavalan’s ability to replicate the efficacy of PVC while remaining 100% clean, the banner industry will soon look at traditional PVC banners the way we now look at floppy discs! 


Kavalan lays all its cards on the table and offers you all the information you need about the product. It’s why we chose to independently commission a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), to demonstrate exactly how Kavalan measures up against PVC and assessed against a total of 18 environmental impacts. You can read more about the findings of our LCA here. We encourage everyone to do their research make sure you’re getting honest answers to the questions of whether products are truly environmentally-friendly – we all need to make a commitment to making a difference before it’s too late. 

Kavalan’s commitment is to provide high-quality, high-performance materials that protect the environment and play a part in securing our children’s futures.

Go PVC free, go for Kavalan! Join us on our green journey now. 




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