Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme

No More Waste: Plumbing Industry Launches PVC Recycling Scheme

12 November 2021

As society moves its attention towards long-term sustainability, the Queensland plumbing industry has recognised its role in contributing to a responsible and sustainable future by diverting off-cuts of plastic pipes from landfills and recycling them into new pipes.

Master Plumbers’ Association Queensland (MPAQ) and Plastics Industry Pipe Association of Australia (PIPA), in conjunction with Iplex, Reece, Tradelink, and Vinidex, have joined forces to launch the Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme.

The Queensland Government has provided funding support to ensure the delivery of the Scheme’s six-month pilot program.

Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland’s Executive Director, Penny Cornah, said the Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme has been developed to help industry understand the volume of available PVC pipe off-cuts and fittings from construction sites.

“Our goal is to educate and change behaviours when it comes to the disposal of PVC off-cuts, which can be recycled into a new long-life recyclable pipe product,” Ms Cornah said.

“This scheme highlights the environmental commitments of not only the partners involved but also the industry as a whole.”

The Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme officially began on 1 November 2021, with collection bins delivered to seven participating locations across South East Queensland, providing alternative outlets for PVC off-cuts to be discarded. The off-cuts collected in these bins during the Scheme will be audited and data recorded.

Plastics Industry Pipe Association of Australia’s Executive General Manager, Cindy Bray, said most plastic pipes installed throughout Australia are 100% recyclable and can be easily reprocessed and manufactured into new pipe. Volume of plastic pipes in the waste stream are low due to their long service life, however waste, such as off-cuts generated during the installation process need to be captured and diverted from landfill. The Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme focuses on PVC non-pressure and pressure pipes and fittings

“PVC pipe can be recycled six to seven times without significant reduction in pipe material quality requirements, highlighting the many benefits to collecting and recycling the off-cuts,” Ms Bray said.

“Assuming a pipe lifetime of 100 years, the PVC material in PVC pipes may have a lifetime in excess of 600 years.”

Overall, the process of producing, recycling, and reusing pipes have minimal environmental effects highlighting the never-ending benefits of implementing the Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme.

Plastic pipes are smart, efficient, and sustainable, providing long-lasting and reliable infrastructure both now and into the future.

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme was a clear example of a “circular economy” in motion.

“As we move towards making Queensland a truly sustainable state operating on a circular economy – where waste is reduced and resources are recovered and re-used – initiatives such as the Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme can play a major role in achieving our goals,” Ms Scanlon said.

An official launch event was held today, Friday 12 November 2021, at Reece Plumbing Supply Store at Labrador with the Hon Meaghan Scanlon MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs, attending the launch. For media enquiries, please see contacts below.

Participating Partners 

Participating Locations

  • Beenleigh Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre
  • Caboolture Hospital
  • The Star Casino Site Gold Coast
  • Labrador Reece Plumbing Store
  • Prominence Outlook Pallara
  • Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Development (Towers 1 and 2)
  • Woolloongabba Tradelink Store

To find out more about the Construction Plastics Recycling Scheme and what can and cannot be recycled, visit www.mpaq.com.au/pvc.

-ENDS -

For more information:

Penny Cornah
Executive Director
Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland

penny.cornah@mpaq.com.au
0418 724 457
07 3273 0800

Cindy Bray
Executive General Manager
Plastics Industry Pipe Association of Australia

cindy.bray@pipa.com.au
0459 919 437

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