Circular economy : Wienerberger claims to be pioneer in plastic pipes in Europe

Wienerberger Pipelife Kunststoffrohre plastic pipes
© Pipelife

From the reduction of plastic waste to 100% recyclable or reusable products and the conscious use of resources: Wienerberger has set itself ambitious sustainability goals in the Piping Solutions segment. In this way, the company supports the EU Plastics Strategy as well as the European Green Deal and promotes the circular economy. "We don't get a second chance for the environment. That's why we actively contribute to a safer and healthier life with our piping solutions. We set new innovative standards with our products and safeguard our environment with the long service life of our solutions," emphasizes Wienerberger Piping Solutions COO Harald Schwarzmayr.

100 percent recyclable plastic pipes as of 2023

Wienerberger subsidiary Pipelife processes hundreds of thousands of tons of plastic every year - many of the pipes made from it have a service life of 100 years or longer. Recycling can extend the service life of the material to 300 years and more. Since 2010, the use of recycled materials has already increased by more than 200 percent. "We are continuously working to expand our sustainability goals. Today, nine out of ten plastic pipes are already recyclable or reusable. From 2023, this will be possible for all new products," explains Mark von Loon, Senior Vice President Corporate Sustainability & Innovation at Wienerberger. As a member of the European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA), Wienerberger also supports the goals of the EU Plastics Strategy: by 2025, the EU market for recycled plastics is to increase to ten million tons.

Product innovations at local level

In order to reduce plastic waste, local teams at Pipelife set their own targets that go beyond those defined internationally. For example, Pipelife Netherlands' Durofort wastewater and stormwater pipe, made entirely from recycled material, was awarded the RIONED Innovation Award 2021. The team at Pipelife Sweden developed a new pipe based on recycled and completely fossil-free (bio-based) PVC. Pipelife Bulgaria, in turn, produces ECOCorr - a corrugated waste and stormwater pipe made of 100 percent recycled PE (polyethylene).

Demand: Raise industry standard on recycling

Wienerberger aims to promote the circular economy in Europe by increasing recycling and reducing plastic waste. "It is a focal point of the European Green Deal, which sets a target of zero net emissions by 2050. Promoting the market for recycled products and recycled raw material at the European level has a major impact on waste reduction. It is up to legislation to proactively drive this forward," says Harald Schwarzmayr.