Pipelife as an active member of The European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA) is keen to raise awareness of the value that plastic pipe systems offer for a sustainable future. Within TEPPFA, we commissioned an independent study by the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) to measure the environmental footprint of our various plastic pipe systems based on life-cycle assessment. The work was validated by the Denkstatt sustainability consultancy in Austria.
A life-cycle assessment (LCA) provides the most recognised method to quantify environmental impacts of products, processes and/or systems. It shows the environmental effects of a product over its entire life cycle, including extraction of raw materials, production of materials and the product, construction, use and end-of-life treatment.
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) offers a standard way of communicating the output from such a life-cycle assessment and enables the user to assess the environmental impact of a pipe system and allows comparisons to be made with alternative products at the system level.
An important objective was to provide transparency about the impact of plastic pipe systems on our environment. It was also an important step in the development of the Environmental Product Declarations for plastic pipes.
The results of this study were very positive for all the application areas and confirmed an excellent environmental performance of plastic pipes for utilities and building applications.