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Oriented PVC Pipes and Fittings within Circular Economy, Eco-Design as Main Drive

Oriented PVC Pipes and Fittings within Circular Economy, Eco-Design as Main Drive

Articles

Resource’s crisis, Climate Change problems, and the need for an economic growth, have led to emerge a new strategy, the  Circular Economy, which aim is to reduce materials consumption and waste production, closing the circle of economic and  ecological flow of resources

The Circular Economy is the one in which the available resources are maximized, both materials and energy, so that they  remain in the productive cycle for as long as possible, the aim of the circular economy is to reduce waste generation and to  take the maximum advantage of those that could not be avoided. In addition, circular economy not only presents environmental  benefits related to correct management of waste. Soil protection, water, air, or climate provide economic and  social benefi ts too.  Another point to bear in mind is that not only the recovery of waste must be increased, but also, and this is  key in this new model, it is necessary to introduce changes in the stages prior to the generation of waste, such as the  conception, design, production, distribution,  and consumption of products. Some of the measures proposed by the European  Commission are for example: zero plastics in landfills or high recycling rates of materials, for which measures will have to be  taken to promote recycling. An important concept to be considered by plastic manufacturers is the concept of Extended  roducer Responsibility,  for which measures will have to be defi ned to be applied to producers that subsequently generate  waste, to ensure their involvement in closing the loop; these measures will have to do with the eco-design of products to  improve their durability, energy effi ciency and low environmental impact.

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Molecor products, TOM® pipes, manufactured form DN90 mm to DN1000 mm in nominal pressures from 12.5 to 25 bar, and  ecoFITTOM ® fi ttings, produced from DN110 mm to DN400 mm in PN16 bar, are one of the most environmentally friendly  olution available in the market, because of their lower energy consumption throughout  their long life cycle, lower greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere and, therefore, a lower Carbon Footprint than alternative materials, as well as a lower  mpact on climate change. Additionally, it has also been proven that the environmental impact they show, not only in global  warming, but also in other environmental impacts such as the destruction of the ozone layer, is also lower than other materials. For Molecor, the preservation of the environment is an issue of great importance, that is why it has obtained the Environmental  Footprint seal from the Sustainable Life Foundation by calculating the environmental footprint of its TOM® pipes and  ecoFITTOM® fi ttings in accordance with the new Recommendation 179/2013CE proposed by the European Commission for the calculation of environmental footprints.

Environmental impact of Oriented PVC pipes and fittings

PVC-O pipes and fittings are the  most ecological solution due to their better contribution to a correct sustainable development planet, as shown by different world studies, among which we can  highlight: Energy consumption estimation and CO2 emissions associated to their production, use and fi nal disposal of  VC, PEHD, PP, Cast Iron and  Concrete pipes (Polytechnic University of Catalonia) and the Oriented PVC Environmental Product  eclaration TEPPFA study.

These are some environmental advantages that Oriented PVC pipes and fi ttings present: Speaking about natural resource effi   iency, there are several examples. The fi rst one is about the quantity of petroleum is needed. Only 43% of the composition of  PVC depends on it, therefore, effi ciency is obtained  compared to polyolefin pipes which derive 100% from the same. Oriented  PVC pipes and fi ttings  (PVC-O) are manufactured by a conventional extrusion process and subsequent molecular orientation, which improve the mechanical properties of the product and all of this, with a smaller quantity of raw material, pipes and fittings with better performance are obtained. In relation to the energy consumption, it is lower in the extraction of the raw  material, the pipe manufacture, and its use in networks.

Moreover, PVC is a 100% recyclable material that can be reused. This reduces the consumption of virgin raw materials and the  olume of  waste generated also.

In relation to the topic optimization of water resources, PVC-O is chemically inert to the products present in nature and  herefore remains  unaltered. This fact, together with the effective design of its socket, avoids leakage of the channelled water  and contamination of the fluid circulating inside it, maintaining at the same time, a total water  quality. TOM® PVC-O pipes and ecoFITTOM ® PVC-O fi ttings have a very long service life thanks to their excellent mechanical properties. That is the reason  hy  reaks during  handling and installation on site are minimal, reducing the need to replace damaged products in the network  ith the consequent saving of economic resources. Between their advantages and contribution to sustainability is a lower cabon  footprint. Due to the lower CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, as shown by various international studies, and throughout their  long useful life they consume less energy, minimizing the effect on the planet’s climate change. With the optimization of  transport, thanks to the lighter pipes and fi ttings’ weight, it is possible to save fuel and minimize CO2 emissions too.

According to Teppfa’s environmental product declaration (EPD), PVC-O pipes have a lower environmental impact, not only on  global warming, but also on other environmental parameters such as acidification or the destruction of the ozone layer.

Molecor and the SDG

Molecor, as a company, and its fittings and pipes, as products, are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with the  aim of achieving a sustainable future for all. Sustainable Development Goals are interrelated, and they incorporate the  global challenges we face every day, such as poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice.  The main one for Molecor is number 6, related to clean water and sanitation because TOM® pipes and ecoFITTOM® fi  ttings  are the epicenter of the company. Both are products with a long service life, which ensure total water quality. In line with  SDG number 7, related to affordable and n o n - p o l l u t i n g energy, Molecor has a strong commitment to the responsible  onsumption and use of energy, thanks to its highly energyeffi cient production process and the lately increase in the percentage of energy consumed from renewable sources. Innovation and infrastructure, as stated in SDG 9, are in Molecor’s DNA, as a  leader in Oriented PVC, with its own patented technology and the continuous incorporation of new products.

Molecor contributes to SDG 12, related to responsible production and consumption, with a Quality and Environmental  anagement  System in accordance with regulations, and other environmental studies. Molecor contributes to number 11 by  ensuring that TOM® pipes and ecoFITTOM® fi ttings enable sustainable environments to be built.  Regarding climate action (SDG 13), underwater life (SDG 14) and the life of terrestrial ecosystems (SDG 15), Molecor makes a major contribution to the  ustainable development  of the planet through all the impacts mentioned above. Finally, the company is part of various sectoral  associations or voluntary programs with the aim of achieving sustainable partnerships, which is related to SDG 11.

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