Rehau Frames The Future Of Window Recycling

Rehau's Martin Hitchin

Rehau has invested £10 million into a recycling facility located in the north of England and unveiled ambitious targets to support a sustainability vision.

Millions of windows are replaced in the UK each year on average as frames become time-expired or property owners look to upgrade. In order to significantly reduce the many tonnes that still go to landfill, Rehau  says it is committed to the circular economy and a ‘planet before profit’ mantra.

With this in mind, the company has invested over £60 million in recycling infrastructure across the Rehau  Group, with its new UK window recycling facility is an example of this commitment - and key to the organisation’s ambitious sustainability targets.


Specifically, over the next few years, Rehau  aims to:

  • Recycle 100% more waste PVCR by 2024 (doubling its output).

  • To salvage and process 24,000 metric tonnes of old PVC window frames per year by 2024.

  • Work with more OEMs to optimise PVC recycling and reduce energy consumption.

  • Constantly improve its separation process to ensure adherence with continually updating sustainability legislation and minimise by-products.

  • Develop collaborative relationships with trusted partners to most efficiently manage waste streams .

  • Invest in consumer awareness campaigns to drive demand for recycled windows.


New facility

Based in Runcorn, PVCR Ltd is capable of recycling 1,000 metric tonnes of postconsumer polymer windows and doors every month. The company recently moved to its new purpose-built site as part of its continued heavy investment into upgrading its PVC recycling capability and improving overall sustainability.


50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders

Rehau’s work at PVCR is part of its wider efforts to boost the company’s recycling capacities throughout Europe for its windows production operations. Its long-term efforts in this field, alongside other initiatives, has seen the company selected to join the 50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders initiative, which is led by Bloomberg in co-operation with the United Nations.


 “The UK public is becoming more familiar with the benefits PVC windows bring to our buildings but more work needs to be done to raise awareness of recyclability beyond single-use plastic.”

– Martin Hitchin 

CEO, Rehau


Making it mainstream

"In order for window recycling to become commonplace, industry needs to collaborate, inform and educate around its importance," continues Rehau's Hitchin. “Sustainability is much more than a hot topic at Rehau  – it is a driving force within our strategy. It is something we act on and invest in, so we hope industry will join forces with us in making window recycling a mainstream process.” 

Picture: Rehau's Martin Hitchin at the new PVCR facility.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
13th May 2021


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