FUTURE THINKING

RECYCLING

OUR COMMITMENT

Solo’s Kaitiakitanga for our Planet is to focus on two values – Responsible Consumption and Production and on Climate Action. Within these values we have developed strategies on meeting our Circular Economy and our Waste Reduction Goals.

Regenerating  materials into something new

A Circular Economy aims to keep the resources in use for as long as possible.  Rather than follow a linear one, where a product reaches an end-of-life state and its material is then lost, a Circular one seeks to recover and regenerate those materials into something new.  The positive benefits to society, business and the environment are obvious.  By designing out waste and pollution we are instead regenerating natural systems.

The easiest plastics to re-cycle

At Solo, we deal primarily with high-density polyethylene (HDPE).  This carries a Type 2 plastic code and is one of the safest forms of plastic, solvent resistant and has high strength characteristics.  It’s the perfect material for pipes and one of the easiest plastics to re-cycle.

To meet our strategies Solo commits to taking clean HDPE waste from any source, chipping it and extruding it into pellets for re-use into new products suitable for non-virgin material.  We will invest in a recycling plant, staff and associated equipment to make this happen.  We also commit to recycling 100% of all HDPE waste produced internally at Solo and will publish our results on our website.

If you have waste PE, please contact us.

54.7

TONNES OF PE WASTE WE HAVE
RECYCLED IN 2020

PLASTIC PIPING

The Global Shift towards Polyethylene (PE)
from traditional materials

Since the 1700’s when wooden pipes were first used, pipes have advanced through the ages using materials like Cast Iron, Clay, Concrete, Steel, Fibreglass, PVC and PE. Most of today’s Water and Wastewater buried pipes in New Zealand are in PE, PVC or Concrete, with the larger diameters historically tending towards Concrete.

Over the last decade, demand for plastic pipes as a preferred material has risen globally to meet the needs of growing populations with their ability to handle extreme weather events. Large diameter PE pipes are being increasingly used for sewer and surface water management with the latest technology allowing them to be used in water transfer and pressurised applications. Their growing popularity is due to a number of factors:

In summary, the consistent high performance, low environmental impact, flexibility and flow advantages make PE the ideal material for many piping, chamber and tank applications. They are increasingly being specified at larger diameters by water authorities and councils and provide a long lasting, effective solution to the challenges of modern living in all types of environments.

References:

  1. Cowle, Matt & Samaras, Vasilios & Rauen, William. (2013). A comparative analysis of the carbon footprint of large diameter concrete and hdpe pipes.
  2. Rubeiz, Camille. (2009). Performance of Water and Gas Pipes in Past Earthquakes and Hurricanes. 1-9. 10.1061/41050(357)48.
  3. Study of installation of 90m of sewer pipe of concrete vs plastic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozPkwIcjFf8
  4. Effect of pipe material on biofilm accumulation in a drinking water distribution system. Adapted from Niquette et al. (2000). Water Res. 34: 1952–1956.
  5. Tsvetanova, Zvezdimira. (1970). Study of biofilm formation on different pipe materials in a model of drinking water distribution system and its impact on microbiological water quality. 10.1007/978-1-4020-5098-5_46.