A Message from Ludo Debever

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Dear TEPPFA stakeholders,

2018 was a turbulent year for the plastics industry. The first ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics, adopted by the European Commission on 16 January, initiated the acceleration of plastic products towards a circular economy. Public media focused on a regular basis on the threat of plastics to our oceans, on microplastics and single use plastics, which created a negative perception of the plastic sector as a whole.

However, TEPPFA members develop long life construction products. Our plastic pipes have been designed to last and be in use for >100 years and can be recycled at end of life. More than 25 years ago TEPPFA started developing high quality standards to assure the quality and the longevity of the plastic pipes put on the market in Europe.

The Plastics Strategy overshadows the many projects TEPPFA initiated or finalized to further improve and guarantee the quality of plastic pipes put on the market.

In January 2018 TEPPFA buried large diameter pipes in Hammeln, Denmark. On a regular basis the behavior of the pipes is measured and evaluated.  In 2019 the results will be communicated and are expected to confirm that large diameter plastic below ground pipes show an excellent performance.

Patronaged by TEPPFA a voluntary certification programme was kicked off at the Mostra Convegno fair in March in Milan. This challenging project is expected to accelerate time to market for innovative products and to improve the competitiveness of the sector whilst maintaining the high-quality level of the products.

In April 2018 TEPPFA organised a well-attended Forum with high level line up of speakers from all over Europe.  Theme of the Forum was “Discover:Plastics. Performance, Strength, Flexibility and Longevity”, referring to the communication campaign TEPPFA launched in September 2017. The Forum TEPPFA offers a platform to the most relevant EU Directorate Generals to explain their policies that have an impact on the plastic pipe sector.  It allows TEPPFA to present the contribution of TEPPFA products and services to achieve the policy goals of the European Commission.

In September TEPPFA finalised the pilot stage of the PEF (Product Environmental Project) for plastic hot & cold water supply systems. The testing phase of PEF, a highly challenging project from DG Environment started in 2013. TEPPFA finalized the pilot in due time in spite of an important last-minute barrier, the withdrawal of the copper industry, one week before submitting.

Via the European Drinking Water alliance TEPPFA plays a vital role in shaping the revision of the Drinking Water Directive to industry’s expectations and ultimately safeguarding the high quality requirements for drinking water. Industry hopes to finalise the revision before the European elections in May 2019.

Through the year TEPPFA updated 13 from its 22 EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) and had them peer reviewed. Members can sign up for the Operation Clean Sweep programme, … All of the above is only a part of projects discussed and developed in the various TEPPFA working and application groups.

I would like to thank the TEPPFA staff, the Application Group and Working Group participants for their passion, dedication and hard work. The Executive Committee and all our members I would like to thank for their continued support, input and guidance.

May I wish you all a happy Xmas and a good start of and prosperity in the year 2019!