Plastics Industry ‘Fly-In’ Elevates Issues, Concerns

The Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI) joined four other plastics organizations in the industry’s annual Fly-In event, in Washington, D.C., Sept. 11-12, to meet with members of Congress. About 135 plastics professionals called on 120 legislators and staff to discuss the key issues the industry faces.

“Our industry’s priorities revolve around the safety of our workers, the safe use of our products and the sustainable management of materials,” said PPI President, Tony Radoszewski, CAE. “Together we continue to work on responsible environmental stewardship throughout the plastics supply chain and life-cycle.”

Radoszewski asserted that fair and open competition for plastic pipe materials should be required for any federally funded infrastructure project. “Many local jurisdictions have old specifications that do not allow plastic pipe to compete, creating virtual monopolies and driving up costs,” he told legislators. “In a time of limited resources, requiring projects that spend federal dollars to allow competition can double the positive impact of federal support, saving local taxpayers money.”

The importance of reducing plastic waste and advances in the use of recycled materials to manufacture pipe were also discussed.

“Recycling and energy conversion are important end-of-life options for plastic materials,” he added. “The nation is facing a critical situation in terms of recycling capacity and end-markets for recycled material.”
Additional infrastructure is necessary to turn this around. The Fly-In made it possible to explain how the plastics pipe industry is currently using 25 percent of post-consumer HDPE bottles and turning them into pipe used in underground infrastructure.

“This was an eye opener for many of the people we met,” Radoszewski commented. “We explained how our industry takes a product that has a 60-day shelf life and converts it to a product – pipe – that has a 100-year service life.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Plastics Pipe Institute Inc., (469) 499-1044, plasticpipe.org

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