A major multinational awareness campaign, championing the suitability of plastic pipe systems for underground sewers, has been launched to inform and inspire the civil engineering and utilities sectors. Discover Plastics celebrates the flexibility, longevity and strength of plastic pipes - as well as their ease and speed of installation - drawing on more than 20 years of independent research.
Curated by TEPPFA, the European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association and in partnership with four National Associations, Discover Plastics drives awareness of the natural suitability of plastic pipes for sewer and stormwater applications. It also shines a light on real-life case studies from across Europe, showcasing how plastic pipe systems have been successfully deployed in many challenging situations, and are continuing to function decades after their installation.
At the centre of the campaign is a dedicated knowledge hub – a specialist microsite – which brings together the results of multiple wide-ranging studies into the performance and behaviour of plastic pipes when used for sewers. These studies include the 100-Year Service Life of Gravity Sewer Pipes report, which investigated the effects of traffic loading and strain, corrosion and other factors on plastic pipes in both field conditions and laboratory testing. Independently reviewed by an expert from the world of academia, the project proved that a 100-year in-service lifetime could be confidently predicted for EN-compliant plastic pipes.
Floris Bordewijk, Chairman of the Applications Group Civils at TEPPFA, said: “Following an intensive piece of market research which revealed the most important considerations that specifiers take into account, TEPPFA has collated the results of many years of investigation and study to create Discover: Plastics. For decades, we have invested substantially in excavating existing systems to assess their longevity; undertaking controlled lab research to quantify the benefits of flexibility; and subjected plastic pipes to continual hours of strength testing. In addition, we’ve enlisted the expertise of many independent bodies who have provided verification for our work.
“We know civil engineers are passionate about the quality of their designs, and by collating this wide range of compelling evidence, we can demonstrate that plastics display all the qualities required of a long-lasting sewer pipe system.”
Caroline Ayres of TEPPFA, and Director of the BPF Pipes Group, said: “This strongly supported research by TEPPFA endorses much of the valuable work of our members on below-ground plastic pipes, and we wholeheartedly welcome this campaign, which will help set the record straight on plastic and enable specifiers and civil engineers to better understand its benefits.”
TEPPFA is The European Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association founded in 1991 with headquarters in Brussels. TEPPFA’s 10 multinational company members and 14 national associations across Europe represent 350 companies that manufacture plastic pipes and fittings. TEPPFA’s members have an annual production volume of 3 million tonnes directly employing 40,000 people with € 12 billion combined annual sales.
TEPPFA launches international Discover Plastics campaign