Thinner, Lighter, More Robust and Carbon Efficient
A plastic pipe used in infrastructure applications is typically only 6% of the weight of its concrete equivalent. They are quicker and easier to install and in some circumstances, less plant hire is required than when utilising rigid materials such as clay or concrete, therefore providing cost savings on-site. The light weight nature also provides excellent Health and Safety benefits when considering the storage and handling of pipes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to use the 'as dug' material for backfilling the trench. This is an important factor when considering the quarrying activities, transportation and the tax levied on aggregates.
Plastics - which feature among the most researched materials in the world - are an integral part of sustainable developments. Thinner, lighter and more robust than most rigid materials, thanks to continuous technological innovation, plastic pipes typically weigh 94% less than their concrete equivalent. Due to their light weight nature, plastic pipes and fittings help to reduce energy use and therefore greenhouse gas emissions.
Because of their light weight nature, plastic pipes can be transported in greater volumes than their concrete equivalents. For example, 1km of 450mm plastic drainage pipes from Polypipe will only require three deliveries compared to concrete pipes which would require twelve deliveries to site. Not only will the reduced number of deliveries provide environmental benefits, but the reduction in vehicle movements on-site also ensure that the associated Health and Safety risks are reduced.
Using plastics also reduces the need for quarrying activities. And, because of their lightweight nature, the carbon footprint from transporting them is smaller.
"From the view of the total life cycle, plastics can be considered as one of the most energy efficient materials."
("The Contribution of Plastic Products to Resource Efficiency", Final Report, Gesellschaft fuer Umfassende Analysen/Corporation for Comprehensive Analyses, Vienna, January 2005).)