The new age of PVC pipes: designers, authorities, utilities

Published on: 2016-01-18

Description: PVC is definitely a material of choice


Contribution to the VinylPlus Communication Vision
This communication plan, aims at opening a dialogue with the Italian Utilities and at exploring the possibility of cooperation in the two fields of interest for PVC Forum and VinylPlus: piping and waste.

This new dialogue could lead to a new relationship between the parties involved so that PVC Forum Italy/VinylPlus can become in the next years a technical support and quality assurance on PVC pipes for utilities, while the Utilities could become points of collection of those PVC waste to be sent to recycling.

A further objective is to gradually introduce PVC4pipes and its activities, in order to make it become a stakeholder for the utilities, able to support the activity of promotion carried out by the Group pipes of the PVC Forum Italia.

Project Description

  • The project aims at informing and sensitising designers, engineers, municipalities on the benefit of PVC pipes and on the PVC industry ‘s contribution to the circular economy.
  • The project is organised directly involving some of the pipes and fittings manufacturing companies, members of the PVC Forum Italia, and with the support, for some aspects, of PVC4pipes
  • The organisation of a PVC waste collection scheme with the utilities is a further aim of the project

The project includes three phases:

  • 5 courses with Orders of Engineers aimed at promoting PVC pipes for training engineers
  • Contacts with Bodies and Authorities
  • Participation with a booth at H2O, the Italian exhibition dedicated to water transportation
  • Organisation of a workshop at Ecomondo Rimini in November 2016

Progress Made
Phase 1

  • Preparation, printing and realisation of digital support of the documentation for both engineers and authorities regarding: VinylPlus; market; PVC pipes installation; PVC pipes advantages; environmental impact , LCA and sustainability of PVC and PVC pipes; quality tests √ done
  • Preliminary contacts with the Orders of Engineers (Engineers Association) √ done
  • Organisation and management of 5 courses and training sessions with engineers
    • Training courses Brescia, Perugia, Treviso, Trento and Bologna √ done

Direct and indirect contacts with bodies and authorities

This action is being implemented within the phase 2, thanks to the contacts taken with the utilities. In general, in fact, the Italian utilities have a mixed private/public (municipalities) ownership, which should facilitate the creation of relationships with the PVC Forum.

Phase 2

  • Direct contact with Utilitalia √ done
    • Contacts taken with communications department and technical sector water. 
    • PVC Forum and Utilitalia will collaborate at the project Global Water Expo at Ecomondo (see phase 3)
  • Utilities database creation (the list includes about 100 Italian utilities) √ done
  • Newsletter format definition (on the basis of the feedback received , the PVC Forum will evaluate the opportunity of implementing a dedicated software) and preparation of supportive documents, also in cooperation with PVC4pipes (PVC pipes state-of-art and innovation)
    • 4 newsletter already sent 
    • other 8 newsletters are in preparation for 2016 on: 
      • Characteristics of PVC pipes and their correct installation, duration of the performance and operating life, LCA of PVC pipes and fittings, technical and performance specifications for the PVC pipes, the reasons for choosing PVC pipes, pipe market in Italy and Europe, features and high performance of the innovative products, recovery and the recycling of PVC in Italy and in Europe, VinylPlus waste program and results in Italy and Europe, closed loop of PVC and article containing recycled PVC.

Progress Made

Phase 2
Direct contact with some utilities: √ done

  • Seven major utilities were contacted: SMAT, Veolia, Veritas, MM, AcquedottoPugliese, Hera, Acea.
  • A meeting has been organised with SMAT Turin (water management) and Veolia Turin (sewage systems).
  • During the meeting were discussed the issues related to the use of the PVC pipes for sewage and drinking water. All the documents prepared by the Group pipes, and the activities carried out by VinylPlus and PVC4Pipes, were presented. In particular, the PVC Forum addressed the issues related to performance, duration and life cycle of materials, and discussed the position of the utilities on the new procurement code and on the CAM GPP protocols.The Newsletter initiative was positively evaluated, and it has been expressed the need of having more continue and detailed information on PVC pipes systems.
  • A first meeting with Veritas Veneziahas also been organised. This first meeting was entirely dedicated to the waste management (in the zone covered by Veritas), in anticipation of the meetings already planned on the issue with the Italian authorities.
  • Direct contact taken with MM, Acea, AcquedottoPugliese, Hera in occasion of the Utilitalia’sGlobal Water Expo at Ecomondo

Phase 3 (H2O)√ done

  • PVC Forum Italia/VinylPlus at H2O
  • PVC Forum Italy participated with a booth to the H2O, XIII International Water Show, held in Bologna in October 2016, representing the segment of PVC systems for water transport and management. The 2016 edition of H2O saw the participation of more than 70,000 visitors and 77 workshops and seminars.
"H2O Academy” section, dedicated to the training and dissemination program through a number of workshops, seminars, courses and debates, was the most interesting for the PVC Forum Italia. The section presented a new strategic approach to facilitate discussion and debate on various issues: improvement of the transport service, energy efficiency, sustainability, water conservancy, new services and new technologies

euPhase 3 (H2O)√ done

  • PVC Forum Italia/VinylPlus at H2O
  • PVC FORUM participated with a speech to the meeting organisedby Faraplanduring the fair. PVC Forum presented its approach of conscious choice with the comparison of LCAs, outlining end-of-life scenarios in order to propose a direct application of the Circular Economy to PVC pipes.

euPhase 3 (Ecomondo)√ done

  • PVC Forum Italia/VinylPlus at Utilitalia’sGlobal Water Expo
  • In occasion of Ecomondo, Utilitaliapromoted a special initiative called Global Water Expo. The Global Water Expo was a kind of physical “market place” for the water industry, dedicated to the Italian water value chain, involving top national utilities, ESCOs , industry and technologists.
  • At the Global Water Expo , the value chain had the opportunity to meet the producers of technologies and to discuss the issues concerning innovation and sustainability, regulations and development of new markets.
  • Thanks to the collaboration with Utilitalia, PVC Forum Italia had the opportunity to organisea “conference lunch” on “Reasons to choose PVC piping systems” in the framework of the Global Water Expo. The workshop was introduced by Prof. Marangoniof Althesys.
  • Around 25-30 representatives from national utilities, ESCOs , industry and technologists attended the event.
  • A USB key with the handbooks on PVC pipes sustainability prepared by the PVC Forum and info on PVC Forum and VinylPlus (VinylPlus at a glance) was distributed to the attendees.

Participation with a booth
The collaboration with Utilitaliaallowed PVC Forum Italia to have a booth immediately close to the Global Water Expo and to the main Italian Utilities. This exploited the opportunities given by the common area where events, interviews, meetings took place during Ecomondo. Thanks to the good position of the booth, several people visited the desk in order to ask info and suggestions on recycling and on the use of PVC for specific applications.


  • The participation at Ecomondowas also supported with media relations.
  • Following the collaboration with Utilitalia, a dedicated article on PVC pipes has been also published by StaffettaQuotidiana, the most influential and read Italian media on energy and water

Outcomes of the project

  • Reinforced relationship with Utilitalia.
  • Contacts are currently ongoing with Utilitaliain order to organise meetings with some of their members.
  • Contacts open with several utilities. These contacts could also be useful for a follow-up by the PVC Forum Italia and the pipe group of the association.
  • Creation and implementation of a database of the national utilities (nearly 100). The database is utilised for the regular dispatch of a e-newsletter on PVC pipes. No requests of cancellation from the newsletter received to date. It was also decided to continue with the dispatch of the newsletters even over the end of this project.
  • Direct feedback from the market on PVC pipes. Comments taken were generally positive or fair, no particular issues emerged.
  • PVC Forum was invited to participate to the “Servizia retetour 2017”, a conference organised by the editor Tecneditaimed at bringing together utilities, companies and regulators to discuss the world of services, including water transportation.

Follow up 2017

  • Possible follow-up for 2017 as foreseen by the PVC Forum Italia planning
  • Maintain the contacts with Utilitalia.
  • Participate to the meetings organised by Utilitaliawith its members.
  • Develop direct contacts with some of the more important utilities also to verify possibilities of collaborations in the management of the PVC waste.
  • Widening the database with other utilities.
  • Continue with the sending of the newsletters.
  • Participate to the “Servizia rete tour 2017” a conference organised by the editor Tecneditaimed at bringing together utilities, companies and regulators to discuss the world of services, including water transportation.


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