PVC (Vinyl) Products

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When to Use

Avoid PVC products such as: 

  • Soft plastic (e.g., food wrap, shower curtains, and office supplies like badge holders, calendars, chair and floor mats, clear binders, coated paper clips, deskpads, envelopes, erasers, file folders and tabs, note book covers, sheet protectors)
  • Fake leather
  • Children’s products
  • Building materials, flooring, carpet backing


Consumer, Industrial

Environmental & Health Information

  • PVC usually contains phthalates as softening agents.  Some phthalates are probable cancer-causing chemicals, disrupt endocrine systems and have reproductive effects - particularly on men.
  • PVC sometimes contains lead, a bioaccumulative heavy metal that can cause reproductive problems, high blood pressure and hypertension, and various nerve disorders.
  • PVC releases cancer-causing dioxins during manufacture and disposal. Dioxins are a group of chemically-related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants, which accumulate in the fatty tissues of animals. Dioxins can cause a variety of adverse health effects at extremely low doses, including  reproductive and developmental problems,  impaired immune systems, interference with hormones and also cause cancer.
  • PVC is the least recyclable plastic (recycling number 3). (Read more)


Criteria for PVC (Vinyl) Products

Info on this product category:

Criteria for

Guide for City Staff

Citywide Contract

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