Why PVC pipes?

PVC pipes are used in a wide variety of applications, from transportation of drinking water over drainage solutions to advanced fire-sprinkler systems. This popularity owes to a unique combination of properties: safety, durability/cost-efficiency, environmental performance and recyclability.

Watch the short video below to learn more about the benefits of PVC in piping systems.

PVC pipes are safe

PVC pipes are a safe choice for transportation of drinking water. This is due to their high degree of inertness and resistance to corrosion. PVC pipes are therefore free from bio-film contamination that can be a breeding ground for bacteria. By helping provide clean water, PVC pipes are beneficial to public health.

PVC pipes are durable & cost-efficient

The first PVC piping systems were installed over 80 years and most of these are still in use. The expected lifespan of a PVC pipe is 100 years or more for underground pipes. PVC piping systems show a much lower failure rate than other materials. Durability, in combination with low maintenance and installation costs, makes PVC pipes a very cost-efficient choice.
pvc pipes failure rates chart

PVC pipes are the best choice for the environment

PVC pipes have clear environmental advantages over traditional materials. As PVC is a low carbon plastic, PVC pipes require less energy and fewer resources to manufacture. Due to their low weight, less energy is used when transported. PVC pipes last long with a minimum of maintenance and they are easily recyclable. Many new PVC pipes contain recyclates. For instance three-layer pipes where the core layer is made of recycled PVC.

Moreover, the ultra-smooth surface of PVC pipes reduces pumping costs and energy use, and their leak-free fittings eliminate water loss. This is good for both the environment and the utility bill.

PVC pipes last long with a minimum of maintenance – that's good for the environment


PVC pipes are recyclable

PVC pipes are easily recyclable and can be recycled several times without losing their technical properties. Each year around 50,000 tonnes of PVC pipes are recycled in Europe through the VinylPlus® programme. This recyclate is used to manufacture new pipes and a range of other PVC products. Traceability and certification schemes for recyclates ensure a high degree of safety and quality for the recycled PVC.

PVC recycling creates jobs and saves energy and resources

Using recycled PVC helps meet resource-efficiency targets and allows the preservation of natural resources. For each kg of PVC recycled, 2 kg of CO2 are saved. On this basis, CO2 savings from PVC recycling in Europe is now at more than 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 saved per year. Further, recycled PVC’s primary energy demand is up to 90% lower than virgin PVC production. PVC recycling also creates green jobs – the 639,648 tonnes of PVC recycled in Europe in 2017 through VinylPlus® contributed to the creation of 1,200 direct jobs in recycling plants.


European PVC recycling in 2017 contributed to: