Plastic pipe dataaround Europe

Year Overview by the General Manager

Dear TEPPFA stakeholder,

Over the past year topics on plastics were well covered in both the traditional and social media. However, not always the way we would have liked.

As producers of (extremely) long life, sustainable products we witnessed with sad eyes how all plastic products were put under the same umbrella. There is no reason at all why plastic pipes, developed for sanitation purposes or to provide vital drinking water to all of our homes for at least 100 years, should be stigmatised in the same way as single use plastics. On the contrary plastic pipes are part of the solution to help deliver on some of the major United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The plastic pipe industry is an industry to be proud to work for. Its continuous ground-breaking innovative solutions are essential to mitigate the impacts of climate change, to supply clean and safe drinking water and provide sanitation for all, and to deliver comfort in our homes from renewable energy resources.

Still, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The European Commission succeeded in uniting all stakeholders of the plastics value chain in Europe to support the project to drastically increase the use of recycled plastics for the production of new products. The > 160 signatories of the Circular Plastic Alliance Declaration pledged jointly on 20 September to initiate projects to increase the uptake of recycled plastics to 10 million tonnes by 2025 from 3.7 million tonnes today.

Postconsumer plastics should no longer be landfilled or incinerated but be treated as a valuable new raw material source replacing virgin material from non-renewable fossil fuels. TEPPFA signed at an early stage showing firm commitment to support delivering on the overall 10 million tonnes target. Meanwhile TEPPFA started a Task Force to take barriers away to using more recycled content.

2019 started on a positive note.  We expanded our European footprint with 2 new company members – LK in Sweden and NUPI Industrie in Italy – and 1 National Association, IPPMA in Ireland. Moreover, the PVC resin producers decided to join jointly as an associated member via European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers.

Participants in our Application and Working Groups worked hard to deliver on a multitude of initiated projects.  A few examples are listed below.

We published position papers on the 100 years expected lifetime of below ground PVC and PE pressure pipes. They were well received and covered worldwide in the trade media.

New product standards were published for PVC-O pressure pipes and for PP and PVC stormwater boxes. Standardisation work on the barrier pipes progressed well.

The buried pipe project will soon conclude its research to include large diameter pipes up to Ø3000mm. A new calculation method and tool is being developed.

First companies officially received the certificates based on the new scheme of mutual recognition between KIWA and DVGW. Based on the lessons learned the scheme will be expanded to include further certification bodies.

Our 21 generic plastic pipe EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) are now all revised. We are gradually integrating the findings from the updated concrete databases in our comparative LCAs.  Latest comparisons show clear improvements in narrowing the gap for the most important impact categories.

Our Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) ambitions now have a clear objective.  All TEPPFA members are expected to be OCS compliant by 2021, which will contribute to a reduction of micro-plastics unnecessarily spilled into the environment.

Drinking Water Working Group focused on safe and clean drinking water topics.

It is highly likely that after 5 years of negotiations Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union started the “landing” of the revision of the Drinking Water Directive. Under the umbrella of the European Drinking Water Consortium TEPPFA worked hard to make the same high hygienic standards apply to products in contact with drinking water all across the EU.

Last but not least, 2019 marks the year in which TEPPFA drastically revised its visual identity.  The change of our visual Identity triggered a thorough revision of the TEPPFA website. TEPPFA is now ready to enter the new decade with a fresh, up to standard, professional logo and communication guidelines to further promote the benefits of plastic pipes to all value chain stakeholders based on robust data.

We would like to thank all our members for your high level, constructive input in all TEPPFA activities.

You all contributed enormously to establishing plastic pipes as the most sustainable solution to improve on the living comfort and deliver on society’s major challenges.

The TEPPFA Team – Peter, Sergejs and Ludo – wishes you all a Merry Xmas and successful 2020!

Posted on 24th December 2019

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