PLUMBING INDUSTRY PLASTIC RECYCLING SCHEME
MPA Skills Plumbing and Plastics Industry Pipe Association of Australia (PIPA), in conjunction with industry partners Vinidex and Pipemakers have launched an industry driven PVC and Polyethylene (PE) pipes and fittings recycling scheme in WA.
The objective of the scheme is to educate the apprentice plumbers in WA on the sustainability of plastic pipes and develop the behaviour of appropriate disposal of off-cuts. It also provides an outlet for plumbers in Perth to have a facility to dispose of their PVC and PE plastic pipe off-cuts, diverting them from landfill and recycling them back into new long life plastic pipes.
The collection bins will be located at MPA skills Training facilities:
Maylands campus – PVC and PE collection point
Bayswater campus – PVC collection point
Did you know?
PVC and PE pipes are 100% recyclable!
The most common plastics used for pipe production are PVC, PE and polypropylene (PP) which are thermoplastics. In simple terms they can be cut up, remelted and reformed into another shape or product, allowing them to be easily reprocessed and recycled. Being 100% recyclable means off-cuts can be reprocessed easily into new pipes with the same life expectancy as the original ones – a service life in excess of 100 years.
There is low volume of waste available for recycling
Due to plastic pipes long service life – in excess of 100 years, the volume of plastic pipes and fittings in the waste stream is very low. Most plastic pipes in use are still in their first life cycle! However, waste such as off-cuts generated during the installation process need to be captured and diverted from landfill. These types of schemes play an important role in the diversion of waste.
Plastic pipes and fittings are different to single-use plastics?
Unlike single-use plastics, plastic pipes don’t end up as pollution in our waterways or oceans. They are engineered products, designed to last with minimum waste going to landfill. The engineered polymers used are very stable materials. The long-life properties that can be problematic for single use applications make them the perfect choice for infrastructure.
They deliver essential everyday services and utilities
Have you every thought about the role plastic pipes play in society? They bring drinking water, gas and electricity to our homes. Plastic pipes protect the network of wires and cables that deliver internet services. Are used in irrigation systems that are essential for growing food and carry away sewerage, rainwater and stormwater protecting our communities.
Plastic pipes are safe for people and the planet
They provide the highest level of safety for carrying drinking water, they don’t contain phthalates or heavy metals and are manufactured to Australian Standards. Offering clear advantages in terms of chemical resistance over other pipe options, plastic pipes are not affected by soil environments that are corrosive to metal and concrete. They don’t corrode like other pipe materials, and they do not contribute to microplastics in the environment.
They are the smart choice, using resources responsibly and sustainably
Plastic pipes are recyclable, contributing to a circular economy. They are produced very efficiently reusing manufacturing scrap in their design and have a lower carbon footprint than alternative materials.
50 years ago, there was little plastic pipe used. Iron pipe was used for water supply and sewer and drainage was mostly clay. If all water mains pipe installed was ductile iron instead of plastic pipes – PVC-O for example, then an additional 203,000 tonnes of CO2 would be released per annum. That’s equivalent to 44,000 additional cars on the road.
Read more about the use of recycled materials in plastic pipes.
Read more about PIPA’s Sustainability Story.