Specific Technical Information on PVC Pipe Manufacturing in NZ
The PIPA NZ PVC Industry Group has also produced additional information relevant to the manufacture of PVC pipe in New Zealand.
PVC Pipe Manufacturing in NZ
NZ made PVC pipes are produced by environmentally responsible companies. Iplex Pipelines Ltd, RX Plastics Ltd and Marley New Zealand Ltd recognise the importance of managing environmental issues to ensure their ongoing success. All three companies have environmental management systems in place and set annual goals and targets for the environmental improvement of their operations.
Australian and NZ Standards
NZ manufacturers have adopted the Australian/NZ standards for PVC pipe (see Note 1). These incorporate Best Environmental Practice requirements developed by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) embedded in them to facilitate and openly encourage responsible sourcing of raw materials, best practice manufacturing, fully independent third party certification compliance, simpler procurement and easier identification of compliant products. No other Australian or international product standards have taken this step.
Note 1: The inclusion of Best Environmental Practice requirements across all Australian PVC pipe Standards is in progress. It has been completed for AS/NZS 1260 and 1254. Standards Australia are in the process of formally including these requirements in all Australian PVC pipe Standards – this process will be completed shortly.
Poly Vinyl Chloride is a thermoplastic that is easily melted and reformed into new products. All NZ PVC pipe manufacturers accept clean pipe back for recycling. If you have any off cuts or demolition pipe you are unable to use contact the manufacturer to arrange recycling. Please note a pre-delivery inspection is required before the material will be accepted.
Lead which is a known carcinogen has historically been used as a stabiliser in PVC. It has now been replaced with either tin or organic based stabilisers.
No cadmium is used in the manufacture of PVC pipe in New Zealand.
Pipe manufactured from rigid PVC contains no plasticisers. Some plasticisers used in flexible PVC products have been linked to endocrine disruption and fertility issues. These do not relate to rigid PVC pipe.
The use of mercury to produce PVC is now old technology. NZ PVC pipe manufacturers do not source PVC materials from companies still using mercury. New technologies use polymer membranes, eliminating the need for the use of mercury. This standard forms part of the companies purchasing requirements.
Avoiding Dioxin Release
There are no dioxins in PVC based pipe. However PVC can release dioxins when burnt under very specific conditions of temperature (between 250-400 degrees C). It is likely that if a PVC article is involved in a combustion process- through deliberate burning or an accidental fire temperatures would be well in excess of 400 degrees centigrade and any dioxin formation would be minimised.
However given the complexity of the science and the broader concern on this issue readers are referred to some independent reports on this subject:
Dioxins in Australia: a summary of the findings of studies conducted from 2001 to 2004”. This report was published by the Department of the Environment and Heritage in May 2004.
Literature Review and Best Practice Guidelines for the Life Cycle of PVC Building Products 2010”. This report is available on the Green Building Council Association website
Incinerator Design and Operation: The Robust Approach to PCDD/F Minimization William F. Carroll, Jr., Ph.D. April 2003 found under DioxinFacts.org
For further queries on any information contained in these documents please contact your pipe supplier or Plastics NZ.