Papers # 2018 Las-Vegas

Until today there are various ways of demonstrating the Environmental Performance of products, such as Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), Life Cycle Impact Assessments (LCIA), Environmental Performance Declarations (EPDs). The methods to obtain the result, however, can vary from country to country and can be interpreted differently and are difficult to interpret by the product user. There are also various environmental claims, such as ecolabels, which cannot be verified and can confuse the end consumer. The European Commission therefore decided to develop a method that can be used on any product or on any organisation and that will allow the end consumer to make a choice when taking environmental aspects into account. This method is called the Product Environmental Footprint. A 3-year pilot phase was finalised in April 2018 and the method is now going through a transition phase before a final decision will be taken how to implement the method in existing legislation.

The European Commission decided in 2013 to launch a new initiative on how to assess the environmental footprint of products (PEF) and organizations (OEF). Unlike the existing ISO1 and EN Standards2 the intention of the DG Environment & JRC was to develop a method which can be used for all kind of products and organizations. 

A three-year pilot phase started in 2013 and has just ended. Now the PEF/OEF transition phase will start. During the transition phase the experiences and knowledge gained during the pilots will be used for a broader roll out and for further finetuning of the approved Product Category Rules (PEFCRs) developed within the pilot phase.

The PEF method is seen as a game changer. First, for each product group an environmental benchmark, also called “the European Representative Product” has been defined for each environmental category to which the environmental performance is measured against. Secondly the European Commission is aiming for a communication on the environmental performance of products, not only for B2B business but also for B2C communication. This aim is very ambitious and will require a complete new set of communication vehicles which are still under discussion and development. Currently the European Commission is in the process of exploring different possible usage of the PEF method. Options which are currently under discussion are among others: a mandatory method, a voluntary method, but mandatory for communication, a method to support eco-labelling and/or an instrument for Green Public Procurement.

TEPPFA has many years of experience in LCA studies assessing the environmental environmental performance of many plastic piping systems. During the last 6 years more than 20 EPDs according to EN158043 have been issued. In parallel also several comparative LCAs in which the environmental performance of plastic piping systems are compared with traditional competing piping systems like concrete, copper and ductile iron have been issued. Based on this extensive experience, TEPPFA was selected by the European Commission to lead the PEF pilot project dealing with hot and cold-water supply piping systems.

Although the PEF method is based on LCA it is in many ways different compared to the EN standard EN 15804 dealing with construction products: the number of impact categories to report are higher, calculation methods are different and finally the data quality requirements are much higher. “EF compliant datasets” are being provided by the European Commission to secure that all secondary datasets are coming from the same source. To understand how the introduction of the PEF method impacts the environmental performance of the plastic pipe systems and how it alters the comparisons to traditional materials, TEPPFA has set up several internal “shadow projects” in parallel with the PEF pilot project. The aim of those projects is to better understand the impact of PEF on other pipe applications compared to alternative materials.

Related keywords : Environmental Product Declaration, Product Environmental Footprint, Life Cycle Assessment, hot & cold-water piping systems; PEX pipes, copper pipes, MLP (multilayer pipes PE/Al/PE).
Please note that the whole article content is available on PPCA website onlySource : 2018 Las-Vegas

Related papers


Author(s) : Anders Andtbacka, Frans Alferink, Peter Sejersen 2018 Las-Vegas

The behavior of buried plastic pipes is already well described in standards and technical specifications and as well as proven in real life conditions. Plastics pipes in diameters up to around 400 mm are already in use for more than 60 years and pipes with larger diameters for more than 20 years now. All with good...


Author(s) : Ilari Aho, Volker Meyer, Peter Sejersen 2018 Las-Vegas

The lack of a cross-border acceptance of the approval of the hygienic requirements for plastic pipes systems is inefficient and expensive for the industry. The costs for testing of a pipe system range from a few thousand Euro to more than €30k /reference 3, 4/. The European Plastic Pipe and Fitting Association...

HDPE Pipe as a Solution to Utilities Operating on a Manage to Fail Basis

Author(s) : Sarah Eisenstat, Peter Dyke 2018 Las-Vegas

Many cities in the US are operating their water utility on a “manage to fail” basis, meaning they are replacing >100-year-old pipes at a cycle time of over 150 years. At this rate, most of the pipes will have failed before they can be replaced. Ft. Wayne, IN made the realization that PE pipe is the solution due...


Author(s) : Peter Verlaan 2018 Las-Vegas

Ten years ago, The European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA) has taken the initiative to prepare a draft 'Standard for Infiltration units' based on existing national specifications, at that time (in particular) available in France, Germany, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. This draft 'Standard for...


Author(s) : Juergen Wuest, Mirko Wenzel, Andreas Bilsing, Peter Postma, Werner Wessing 2018 Las-Vegas

Within the scope of a DVGW (German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water) research project the technology of squeezing-off for PE pipes at operating pressures higher than 1 bar and the extension to new materials with higher operating pressures were investigated. For this purpose the tightness of the...


Author(s) : Peter Postma 2016 Berlin

On request of the Dutch DSO’s and in cooperation with all important Dutch stakeholders (producers, suppliers, contractors and the regulator), Kiwa Technology investigated the relevancy of defects found with Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) and if it was possible to determine acceptance criteria. The project...

Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of a PVC-U rain gutter system versus a system made from galvanized steel

Author(s) : Carolin Spirinckx, Peter Sejersen, Zoran Davidovski, Karolien Peeters 2016 Berlin

For the European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA) it is important to have an insight into the environmental aspects during the life-span of plastic pipe systems all the way from the cradle to the grave. The result of the studies allows TEPPFA and its member companies to distinct (for the pipe systems...


Author(s) : Stefan Kremling, Thomas Hochrein, Peter Heidemeyer 2016 Berlin

In plastics industry, the use of terahertz technology opens up opportunities for novel non-destructive and contactless testing applications. For example, the thickness of individual layers of a foamed multilayered plastic pipe can be monitored contactless and continuously during the extrusion process. Furthermore,...

A Risk Based Approach to Prioritizing Aldyl Piping Replacements in Gas Distribution Systems

Author(s) : Dr. Ken Oliphant, William Luff, Dr. Peter Angelo, Patrick Vibien 2014 Chicago

Managing aging pipeline infrastructure is an important part of overall pipeline risk management. The critical risk management questions for an aging infrastructure are: how quickly should replacement occur and what parts of the system should be prioritized for replacement. To answer these questions it is necessary to...

Sewer Installation Time – Comparing PVC with concrete

Author(s) : Peter Verlaan 2014 Chicago

Several scientific studies underline benefits that plastic sewers have over traditional materials like clay and concrete. A few scientific studies which confirm that statement are for example: Teppfa SMP project The SMP [explanation?] project showed that plastic systems have 75% fewer leaks than concrete. The full...

Members of the Association

BOREALISBOROUGEINEOS O&PIRPCKorea Petrochemical IND. Co., LTDLyondellBasellPetroChina Dushanzi Petrochemical CompanyPRIME POLYMERSABICSCG Chemicals & Thai PolyethyleneSinopecTASNEE