Analyzing Polyvinyl Chloride in Japan With the Waste Input−Output Material Flow Analysis Model


Address correspondence to:
Dr. Kenichi Nakajima
National Institute for Environmental Studies Ibaraki 980-8579 Japan


Effective life cycle management of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) calls for the separation of end-of-life PVC products at the time of collection not only from other wastes but among different PVC types as well. Information about the flow of PVC products in the economy is important for this purpose. Within the framework of the Japanese input−output (IO) table for the year 2000, with around 400 industry sectors, the flow of PVC is captured in terms of six PVC-embodying products and in terms of three PVC types, (1) flexible PVC (soft PVC), (2) rigid PVC (hard PVC), and (3) others. The degree of resolution; the consideration of different PVC types, which are seldom performed in the material flow analysis (MFA) literature; and the use of waste input−output material flow analysis (WIO-MFA) represent distinguishing features of our study. The use of WIO-MFA methodology enables one to convert a monetary input−output table into a physical interindustry flow table involving an arbitrary number of materials under full consideration of the mass balance. The results indicate that 40% of the PVC produced in Japan is exported (as resins and as products such as passenger motor cars), and the rest is accumulated mostly as capital stock. The largest share of accumulation goes to public construction in the form of plates, pipes, and bars, which are mostly hard-PVC products.