CMYUK has signed a multi-million-pound exclusive contract with Taya Groups to supply its patent-pending Kavalan PVC-free banner range into the UK and Ireland.
Kavalan - which looks and feels like PVC - is phthalate-free, has a biodegradable coating, and has been developed for safe waste-to-energy conversion. It is REACH, RoHS, and 33P compliant, and weighs half that of some traditional PVC banner, significantly reducing carbon emissions during transportation.
In tests carried out by global welding manufacturers FIAB and Miller Weldmaster, the results of tear strength and weldability tests were equal to, if not better than traditional PVC banner. Bjorn Bora, CEO, FIAB said: “All industry players need to address environmental issues and to this end, we can truly recommend Kavalan as a unique solution. It is a non-PVC material with all the positive properties associated with traditional PVC banner in terms of quality and weldability but with environmental concerns at its core.”
Rob van Dijken, EU BV business manager at Miller Weldmaster, added: “The first time I laid eyes and hands on the Kavalan products, I found it hard to believe they were not PVC. When I welded the first samples, I noticed it welded like PVC. I like the material and can imagine it will be a big game-changer in the industry.”
Vincent Lin, VP Taya Groups, said of the deal with CMYUK: “When it comes to distribution we look for a close partnership that shares our philosophy. So when we met the CMYUK team, we were super impressed with its professionalism and dedication to the development of sustainable solutions. CMYUK’s comprehension of the technical aspects of a product, and its understanding of product positioning within a wider environmental context, will make this a successful and solid partnership for years to come.”
Taya is a long-standing global leader in the manufacture of traditional PVC coatings. Europe accounts for 80% of its revenue, 45% of which is traditional banner PVC.
In 2018, approximately 340m/m2 of PVC banner was printed in Europe - most of which ended up in landfills or was incinerated according to CMYUK. During incineration, when PVC is heated to high temperatures it emits hydrogen chloride, a colourless gas, which along with toxic dioxins are extremely damaging to air, water, and land ecosystems. These chemicals are also highly corrosive and dangerous to human health. Despite significant improvements in filtration, there is substantial evidence that shows the operation and mishandling of even the latest MSW plants is leading to large scale, and unmonitored, release of toxic substances, and sub PM2.5 particles into the environment.
Prior to developing Kavalan, Lin spent years researching the true picture around current industry PVC banner recycling. “Most people think recycling is the most eco-friendly option for waste, but what they don’t realise is that many plastic fibres, including PVC banner, are so degraded by a process dependent on massive quantities of solvents and other toxic chemicals, that they are often unusable and become waste, which is either incinerated or put into landfill,” he said.
Robin East, group director at CMYUK, said: “We are delighted to be working with Taya to introduce and develop the Kavalan PVC-free range of materials into the UK and Ireland. It completely matches our mandate to offer the UK’s digital wide-format printing industry a wide variety of environmentally responsible materials.”
He added: “We are thoroughly impressed by the way Taya has taken its considerable experience in the manufacture of traditional PVC, leveraging that knowledge into developing Kavalan - a process that has taken the best part of a decade. The result is a revolutionary substitute that is stronger and lighter than traditional PVC and a game-changer for the environment.”