Plastic pipe is produced from a polymeric resin that is derived from refinement of fossil fuels or recycled industrial oils and lubricants, post-consumer recycled plastics or, in some cases, plant-based bio-feedstocks. (1,2,3) The energy needed to extract and deliver these polymer feedstocks is far less than that associated with the heavy equipment required in the mining and shipment of iron ore, copper or other mineral based feedstocks that are used in the manufacture of metallic or concrete piping systems.

In the manufacture of plastic pipe, the polymer is heated to a range of 275-500º F in the extrusion or injection molding process. These production processes consume far less energy than the production of non-plastics piping systems. While these production processes are highly automated and energy efficient, any out-of-specification pipe or fitting production generated during manufacturing can be retained and reprocessed, or “reground”, and fed back into the production process to produce high quality, specification products that meet or exceed the applicable industry standards for long-term performance. In consideration of these facts, the manufacture of plastic pressure pipe used in the building, construction and transportation industries requires 300 trillion fewer BTU’s than iron or concrete/aggregate piping products. (4)