Plastics News South Africa
06 September, 2012:
Environmentally conscious building contractors and architects can benefit from making use of PVC piping products produced by companies that are recognised by the Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) as Best Practice PVC Manufacturers.
DPI Plastics is a leading manufacturer of water reticulation, drainage and pipe fitting systems in South Africa, and in January 2012 became recognised by SAVA as a Best Practice PVC Manufacturer after officially becoming a signatory of the association's Product Stewardship Programme (PSP), which is a series of achievable commitments to address the industry's environmental issues.
Having successfully displayed its range of sewerage and drainage products at the Dawn House of Brands stand at the 2012 Plumbdrain Expo in August, DPI Plastics technical and product manager Renier Snyman notes that the company has gained considerable market interest from potential clients looking to obtain a green star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).
"The GBCSA announced that the use of PVC products in sustainable projects will no longer be penalised, by removing the MAT-7 PVC minimisation clause from its green star tool rating system. The removal of the clause means that environmentally conscious contractors can enjoy the benefits of PVC products, while ensuring that they have a neutral impact on their GBCSA green star rating.The Plumbdrain Expo served as the ideal platform for DPI Plastics to highlight these advantages, while obtaining feedback from customers in an informal, face-to-face environment," he explains.
As a SAVA PSP signatory, DPI Plastics has committed itself to the following five fundamental key aspects of the manufacture of PVC piping products:
Responsible and sustainable use of additives: Setting realistic timeframes for the delivery of key undertakings in the production and storage, as well as responsible and sustainable use of additives, waste management, research and public reporting.
Responsible and sustainable vinyl recycling programme: Quantifying the opportunity for recycling in post-production and post-consumer waste, setting realistic and sustainable goals and delivering on end-of-life cycle challenges pertaining to PVC.
Effective communication: Handling industry, public and government perceptions constructively by communicating science, reality and local applicability.
Industry health: Product development, market and application opportunity, resulting in improved human capital and overall growth, prosperity and sustainability of the vinyl industry.
SAVA functionality: To be a fully functional industry initiative, adding value to members and the industry as a whole and growing a sustainable membership base with an effective marketing plan.
According to Snyman, DPI Plastics has also committed itself to the SAVA targets for the National PVC industry of increasing recycling of post-consumer PVC-P to 15 000 tonnes per annum, while increasing recycling of post-consumer PVC-U to 5000 tonnes by January 2013. What's more, headds that DPI Plastics is also playing a major role together with its Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturer's Association (SAPPMA) partners in entirely eliminating lead from all locally manufactured plastic pipes.
"SAPPMA was established to create absolute quality, trust and integrity throughout the value chain of the industry, and DPI Plastics is a founding member of the non-profit organisation, which successfully eliminated all lead stabilisers from SAPPMA members' piping products in 2010 - five years ahead of the anticipated European Union (EU) targets," he continues.
Adding to this unprecedented success, Snyman highlights the fact that SAPPMA and its members recently completed a case study involving a framework of initiatives designed to exclude lead stabilisers from all future SABS specifications. The findings will be presented to a technical committeewithin the next few weeks. "Our proposals have been well-received by the SABS to date, and I am confident that the technical committee will make the decision to exclude lead stabilisers from future specifications by the end of this year."
"Although lead creates no immediate risk to the end-user, it does pose a serious risk during the manufacturing process, as raw lead comes in powder form and creates a toxic dust that can be inhaled and absorbed into the skin by factory workers and suppliers of the lead stabilisers. DPI Plastics and other SAPPMA members decided to remove lead from the manufacturing process on an entirely voluntary basis, as part of our ongoing commitment to corporate, social and environmental responsibility," says Snyman.
SAPPMA members began the process of removing lead stabilisers from the manufacturing process in 2006, and have now replaced it entirely with calcium/zinc and organic-based stabilisers that are non-toxic to humans. Snyman stresses the fact that lead is only being eliminated from PVC piping in order to minimise any risks on the manufacturing side, and he assures all end-users who currently have lead-bonded PVC pipes that they are not exposed to any risks.
"Lead has been used as a PVC pipe stabiliser worldwide for more than 40 years, and has excellent heat and UV resistance, which ensures a good cost-to-performance ratio. During the manufacturing process, the lead is chemically bonded into the PVC pipe and cannot leach from the pipe," he explains. "What's more, all pipes containing lead undergo annual SANS 966 tests to ensure that the stabiliser does not leach. These tests, which are carried out by the SABS for various metals, have proven that lead is one of the metals least likely to leach - with a maximum expected leakage of just 50 µg/ℓ, which is negligible."
Snyman will be highlighting the important role that Best Practice PVC manufacturers will play in the future of the South African industry at the SAPPMA Pipes VI Conference, which is being held at the Bytes Conference Centre in Midrand on September 18, 2012.
About DPI Plastics
DPI Plastics (Pty) Ltd is a leading manufacturer of PVC and HDPE water reticulation and drainage pipe and fitting systems with two ISO 9001 certified South African factories based in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
DPI Plastics Contact
DPI Plastics Technical and Product Manager
Phone: (011) 345 5600
Fax: 086 505 6484