A new conference will analyse the applications of recycled waste plastics as financially viable and environmentally sustainable piping solutions.

Ozpipe XIX, the Plastics Industry Pipe Association’s (PIPA) 2019 technical conference program, will feature five experts examining the use of recycled plastics in long service-life infrastructure applications.

PIPA’s Executive General Manager, Rodger Connolly, said that it is not widely recognised that each year in Australia several thousand tonnes of scrap and waste plastic is recycled into drainage pipe products by our industry.

“This has been the situation for more than a decade and it is a fact we’re justifiably proud of, because that material would otherwise go to landfill.” Mr Connolly said.

“Unfortunately, plastic pipes are often tarnished by single-use or soft plastics, and yet our members’ products feature design lives of 100 years or more.

“Typically, they have longer lives than the building or asset in which they are used. Several of our members have gone to the trouble of commissioning independent Environmental Product Declarations that demonstrate beyond any doubt that plastics are the best environmental piping solution.”

From the USA, three Ozpipe XIX presenters, Dr Michael Plumier, Mr Daniel Currence and Mr John Kurdziel, will examine the performance requirements of recycled plastics for use in highway culvert and storm drainage pipe applications, its environmental impact and engineering implications.

Drs Plumier, Currence and Kurdziel will draw on their experience in the United States, where recycled pipe materials are more widely accepted than is currently the case in Australia.

“This is an area where Australia has something to learn from our counterparts in the USA,” Mr Connolly said.

“To maximise asset life, the selection and use of light weight, flexible plastic drainage and culvert pipe beneath highways in most American states is generally considered the preferred material option.

“It’s a message we’d like to pass on to our Australian state road authorities, who seem more reticent to adopt modern, low-carbon plastic pipe technologies in highway construction.”

Meanwhile, Ozpipe XIX presenter, Dr Andreas Frank of the Polymer Competence Centre in Leoben Austria, will address the issues surrounding the inclusion of recycled material in polyethylene pressure pipes.

From closer to home, Australian Vinyls’ Technical Manager, Nigel Jones, will present a paper detailing the environmental and social benefits of including recycled PVC in sandwich construction drainage pipe.

“A significant portion of the Ozpipe XIX program is dedicated to plastic recycling and the circular economy. This is undoubtedly a reflection of the importance of environmental issues to pipe asset owners, manufacturers and government policy makers,” Mr Connolly said.

Ozpipe XIX will take place in Sydney over 7–8 November 2019. Further information including conference program and early-bird online registration is available now.

Sponsors already on board for Ozpipe XIX include:

  • Main Corporate sponsors: Baerlocher and Rollepaal
  • Gold level sponsors: MOL Elastomers, Hultec Asia Pacific and McElroy Manufacturing
  • iPad sponsors: PE100+ Association and Vinyl Council of Australia
  • Media Partner: Monkey Media

This partner content is brought to you by PIPA. For more information on Ozpipe XIX, visit

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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