yellow flower in front of green plastic pipes
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Plastic Recycling: The Circular Economy in Practice

From 2023 all new products will be fully recyclable or reusable: Wienerberger Piping Solutions on the fast track to the circular economy.

Wienerberger AG

More recycling, less plastic waste: Wienerberger pursues ambitious goals for the sustainable development of products in the Piping Solutions business area, supporting the EU Plastics Strategy, the European Green Deal and driving the growth of the circular economy in Europe.

The Circular Economy is Part of the Sustainability Strategy 2020+

 “We won’t get a second chance to save the environment. This is why we provide piping solutions that actively contribute to a safer and healthier life. We set new, innovative standards with our products and protect our environment with the longevity of our solutions”, says Harald Schwarzmayr, COO Wienerberger Piping Solutions.

We won’t get a second chance to save the environment. This is why we provide piping solutions that actively contribute to a safer and healthier life. We set new, innovative standards with our products and protect our environment with the longevity of our solutions.

Harald Schwarzmayr

Harald Schwarzmayr

COO Wienerberger Piping Solutions

Share of Recycled Material More than Tripled Since 2010

Every year the Wienerberger subsidiary Pipelife processes hundreds of thousands of tons of plastic. At the same time, it continuously increases the amount of recycled material used in production. In fact, since 2010, the company has increased its use of recycled material by more than 200 percent. In 2019, 85 kilograms per ton of products produced were already made of recycled plastic. Of the 740,000 kilometers of piping sold in that year, 62,000 kilometers consisted of recycled plastic, equivalent to a pipeline that would go round the world 1.6 times. To keep this momentum going, Pipelife has committed to doubling the use of recycled materials per ton in production between 2025 and 2030.

Mark van Loon holding a Pipelife pipe on his shoulder
Convinced of the potential of recycled plastic: Mark van Loon, Senior Vice President Corporate Sustainability & Innovation at Wienerberger.
Marcel Rob

Target: 100% Recyclable or Reusable Plastic Pipes as of 2023

Currently, nine out of ten Pipelife products can be recycled or reused. But we have set ourselves an ambitious goal and want all new products to be fully recyclable or reusable from 2023 onward. “By using recycled material, we can easily produce plastic pipes with a service life of 100 years or more. And as after that the pipes can be recycled into new pipes, we can make a pipe with three lives and a service life of 300 years or more”, explains Mark van Loon, Senior Vice President Corporate Sustainability & Innovation at Wienerberger.

By using recycled material, we can easily produce plastic pipes with a service life of 100 years or more. And as after that the pipes can be recycled into new pipes, we can make a pipe with three lives and a service life of 300 years or more.

Mark van Loon

Senior Vice President Corporate Sustainability & Innovation at Wienerberger

Award-Winning Stormwater Pipe: Completely Recycled, 100% Recyclable

To reduce plastic waste the local teams at Wienerberger set their own targets, which go even beyond those defined internationally. Pipelife Netherlands, for instance, is making giant strides towards a closed loop economy: Its Durofort sewage and stormwater pipe won the RIONED Innovation Award 2021. The stand-out characteristic: The pipe is 100% recyclable and made of 100% of recycled material.

Man with orange jacket in front of Durofort stormwater pipes
Frank Terpstra, Sales Manager at Pipelife Netherlands with the Durofort stormwater pipe. The pipe is 100% recyclable and won the RIONED Innovation Award 2021.
Pipelife

The team at Pipelife Sweden already increased the use of recycled material in production by 50% percent between 2018 and 2020. The goal now is to increase use of recycled material by a further 10% in 2021.

Pipelife Bulgaria gets kudos for ECOCorr: The corrugated wastewater and stormwater pipe is made of 100% recycled polyethylene (PE).

With constant innovation in production and strict self-imposed targets for plastic recycling, Wienerberger Piping Solutions is a pioneer of the circular economy in the plastics industry and is taking important strategic steps to ensure a sustainable and safe future for our environment and the world we live in.

Promoting Plastic Recycling in Europe

The circular economy is a key priority of the EU’s European Green Deal which has set a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  Pipelife is a member of The European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA). In 2019 Pipelife, together with other plastics manufacturers, signed up to the Circular Plastics Alliance pledge (CPA) as a member of TEPPFA. The goal of this EU plastics strategy is to boost the EU market for recycled plastics to 10 million tons by 2025. To achieve this goal, TEPPFA has set itself the ambitious target of increasing the share of recycled material in plastic piping systems to 220,000 tons by 2025.

Hands holding recycled plastic material for Pipelife products
Commitment for the Future: With strict sustainability targets, the Wienerberger subsidiary Pipelife has committed itself to making more and more recyclable or reusable plastic products.
Pipelife

Raising of General Standards Required

Everyone has to pull together if we are to achieve a functioning circular economy in the European plastics industry. “Developing the market for recycled products and recycled raw material at the European level has a huge impact on waste reduction. It is up to lawmakers to proactively raise the general industry standard”, says Harald Schwarzmayr, COO Wienerberger Piping Solutions. As part of the Action Plan for the Circular Economy, the European Parliament has already put forward proposals for binding product and industry-specific targets for recycled content. 

Developing the market for recycled products and recycled raw material at the European level has a huge impact on waste reduction. It is up to lawmakers to proactively raise the general industry standard.

Harald Schwarzmayr

Harald Schwarzmayr

COO Wienerberger Piping Solutions

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