Replacing PVC with better alternatives

Peter Rietz

Over the past 100 years or so, plastics have revolutionized the world in many ways and enabled a range of innovations that we can’t live without today. Network video cameras for example typically consist of a variety of materials, including aluminium, steel, rubber, as well as various types of plastics. Similar to many other electronics and non-electronics products, Polyvinyl Chloride, better known as PVC, has also been used in the past.

PVC is the third most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, and has widely been used in electrical cable insulation, packaging, construction, and anywhere where low-cost, lightweight, but strong plastic is needed – it has even made its way into clothing.

However, while hugely popular in a range of applications, it is now widely accepted that PVC is damaging both to the environment and to human health. It can release potentially harmful substances during its lifecycle, such as chlorine and dioxins. Studies have suggested links between chemicals created and used during the PVC lifecycle and diseases such as cancer, asthma, and reproductive and immune system damage. Recyclability is also an issue.

A number of large electronics brands have already started reducing their use of PVC or eliminating it altogether, as safer and more environmentally friendly alternatives are becoming available. Other industries have followed suit, with a number of lifestyle, fashion and beauty brands as well as automotive manufacturers committed to phasing out PVC. Today, there are alternatives to PVC that can be used in almost every field of use without compromising on quality.

At Axis we take sustainability seriously. Creating a smarter, safer world for all is important to us and we are constantly looking at how we can improve in the areas of economic responsibility, business ethics, environmental responsibility, and social responsibility.

As part of our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment, in 2009 we set ourselves a long-term goal of completely eliminating PVC from our products. At the end of 2016, about 70 percent of all our network cameras and encoders were PVC-free. The materials used to replace PVC are high density polyethylene (HDPE), polyethylene (PE) and cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE). As these and other alternatives become more commonly utilised, there will be a greater incentive for organisations to begin using sustainable materials.

In today’s industry, the use of PVC plastics should be seen as largely obsolete, rather than a default option. We are proud to be one step ahead.

Read more about our sustainability work.

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