While many companies are still working toward reaching 2030 sustainability goals, Pipelife Netherlands has developed a pipe that already checks all the boxes for 2050 targets. The European Green Deal lays out a framework for achieving a circular economy by 2050 by setting the goal for using 50% recycled materials by 2030, which Pipelife Netherlands previously achieved with their Renofort pipe. However, the Durofort pipe reaches circular economy goals at both ends of its life cycle, as it’s made from 100% recycled plastic materials and is 100% recyclable at the same time.
The Durofort pipe won the 2021 RIONED Innovation Award at the annual conference for urban water management professionals representing municipalities, water boards and various water management companies. Pipelife Netherlands Business Manager Frank Terpstra highlighted the steps this product takes toward contributing to a circular economy when receiving the award.
“With this product we present the opportunity to already meet the climate-neutrality targets from the European Green Deal by 2021, even though the target of 100% reusable materials was only set for 2050,” said Frank.
To create such innovative products, it’s crucial to have municipalities and other customers who are willing to collaborate in reaching sustainable solutions. The Dutch Pipelife team has already put this sustainable pipe to the test by working with the Den Bosch municipality. As part of a new local construction sewerage project, the innovative pipe fits well with the circular objectives of the project.
"As a producer you are always bound by certain standards required by a tender. The Den Bosch municipality was immediately interested in our proposal and indicated a number of suitable ones to have projects within its municipal boundaries. We sat down with them to discuss the certification requirements. When these were clear, we were able to get started with small-scale tests in our laboratory, because of that then upscaling,” said Frank.
The newly developed Durofort pipe can be used for gravity stormwater and wastewater systems. The pipe is currently available with diameters of 125, 160 and 200 mm, but with further collaboration models may be available in additional standard sizes in the future. The sustainable pipe has a service life of approximately 100 years and is produced in standard colors: gray, red-brown and green.
Up to 80% of the environmental impact of products is determined in the design phase, so it’s crucial for manufacturers to plan for a sustainable life cycle for all plastic products. Pipelife has set sustainable development goals at the corporate level, with some local teams such as Pipelife Netherlands going above and beyond the set targets. Durofort is an enormous success and represents an important step towards a truly circular economy. However, we’re only one player in the enormous plastics industry – we need to come together to set clearly defined goals at the European level to have a greater impact.
The RIONEDdag is the annual conference of urban water management professionals at municipalities, water boards and companies. This year there were more than 750 registered participants.