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The Environmental Footprint of Plastic Pipe Systems Within the Built Environment

 

Carolin Spirinckx, Sándor Aranyi, Zoran Davidovski, Karolien Peeters, Claudia Topalli

Papers # 2014 Chicago

The European Plastics Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA) deem it important to have an insight into the integral environmental burdens encountered during the life-span of particular plastic pipe system applications within the built environment. With this framework in mind, TEPPFA has set up a project with the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO). The aim of this project is to carry out several life cycle assessment (LCA) studies from the cradle to the grave to get a better view on the advantages and disadvantages from an environmental point of view of a pipe system in plastic compared to its main competing non-plastic material. The LCAs of several plastic pipe systems outline the various environmental aspects which accompany the pipe systems, from the primary extraction of raw materials up to and including the end of life (EoL) treatment after their reference service life time. The conclusions of the comparative LCA studies show that the average environmental impact of plastic pipe systems in general are lower than the average environmental impact of piping systems made out of traditional materials. 

TEPPFA is also the leader of PEF pilot Hot & cold Water Supply Pipes within the Building, part of the Products Environmental Footprint PEF Pilot Phase of the European Commission. This paper reports on the LCA of some specific plastic pipe systems with the final aim of providing a clear environmental product declaration (EPD), thus raise the awareness amongst developers, installers and users, of the potential environmental impacts and benefits over the complete life cycle. There are presented and discussed also comparisons with traditional materials for the environmental impact category global warming (CO2 footprint).

In addition it will be given an overview of the PEF methodology, its objectives and the pilot phase which started in November 2013

Related keywords : pipe, environmental, system, impact, water, pvc, waste, soil, teppfa.
Please note that the whole article content is available on PPCA website only


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