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That’s Using Plastic for Good

Not all plastics are the same. Take engineered plastic pipes, for example. Unlike single-use plastics, plastic pipes are long-life products, made from materials engineered to be robust, reliable, and recyclable, with a service life in excess of 100 years.

It’s hard to comprehend the vast network of plastic pipelines installed and in operation across Australia and worldwide. Most of them are buried, out of sight, yet delivering our essential everyday services and utilities to our homes and communities, remaining in service for more than a century. With the increased focus on reducing our environmental footprint and transitioning from a linear to a circular economy, plastic pipes have many advantages over alternative materials.

Aligning with the key principles of a circular economy, plastic pipes are designed to minimize waste and pollution, and are intended to be kept in use for a long time, with the ability to be repaired and recycled.

“Not all plastics are the same, and too often plastic pipe systems are mistakenly put in the same category as single-use plastics,” explained Cindy Bray, Executive General Manager of the Plastic Industry Pipe Association (PIPA). “Pipes are long-life products, not single-use, made from materials engineered to be robust, reliable, and recyclable, with a service life in excess of 100 years.”

Taking Responsibility Now and Into the Future

Although there is a low volume of plastic pipes to recover due to their long life and integrity, PIPA and its members are taking practical, meaningful steps to minimize the impact of plastic pollution. They are working together with the broader industry to divert suitable plastic material from landfill into long-life, recycled pipe products that meet the relevant Australian and International Standards.

There is already capacity to increase the use of recycled material across a range of non-pressure pipe products when suitable waste stream volumes become available – the industry already has the solution.

The plastic pipe industry is proud of its environmental sustainability initiatives, from best-practice material sourcing and manufacturing (with processes designed to reuse any scrap materials to make other pipes) to end-of-life product stewardship and other recycling programs.

Engineered plastic pipes are designed for long life, are resilient, sustainable, and recyclable, performing a vital role in Australia. They deliver our drinking water and safely carry away sewerage, rainwater, and stormwater, protecting our environment. Plastic pipes are safe for people and the planet.

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