On October 17th, at the international plastics and rubber trade fair K-2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany, Pipelife Netherlands was announced bronze winner for the category "Sustainable Innovations" of the Inovyn awards. The concept that won is called "Pipe with 3 Lives". With this concept, recycling and reuse extend the lifespan of product material to 300 years and more.
Pipe with 3 lives
At Pipelife, gas pipes receive a second life when they are no longer utilized or have reached the end of their service life, and then they may even receive a third. The PVC can be reused for products such as electric cable conduits and sewage pipes.
To make the most of recycling, Pipelife partnered up with Alliander, a network operator managing more than a third of the Netherlands' 40,000 km gas network. Maintenance, adjustment and replacement works are conducted on a daily base. Some of the material in the gas network is reusable. PVC gas pipes, for instance, can be processed into raw material for cable protection pipes. These can consist up to 80% of recycled material. This is already practiced by Pipelife and Alliander. Both, underground gas pipes and leftover material from relocating lines and construction works are recycled and reused.
The concept goes even further: Electric cable protection conduits can be re-processed at the end of their service life. This time, the recycled material is used for sewer systems. In total, PVC raw material can be reused up to three times so that the material's service life is enormously extended. Since PVC has a service life of at least 100 years, the total service life of the material can be theoretically prolonged to more than 300 years. With "the pipe with three lives" concept plastics receive two further technically feasible life cycles.
Inovyn Awards 2019 to stimulate innovation
The INOVYN Awards are designed to stimulate innovation by acknowledging and promoting important achievements in the global plastics industry. An independent panel of expert jury members chose the winners. No fewer than 93 projects from more than 19 countries around the world had been submitted to the Inovyn awards 2019. This was a record number!
Chris Tane, CEO of INOVYN: "Innovation is the key to market growth and sustainable development for the vinyl industry, and as a world leader in vinyl manufacturing we are once again delighted to present the very best projects from around the world through the INOVYN Awards 2019."