Best Environmental Practice PVC

The Australian Standards for PVC pipe (AS/NZS 1260 and1254) have the Best Environmental Practice requirements developed by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) embedded in them to facilitate and openly encourage:

  • Best practice manufacturing 
  • Fully independent third party certification compliance
  • Responsible sourcing of raw materials, and
  • Simpler procurement and easier identification of compliant products

The health and environmental concerns sometimes associated with PVC are not an issue for Australian pipe products. For example:

  • Australian PVC pipe contains no plasticiser, which means no phthalates 
  • There are no dioxins in Australian PVC pipe
  • Australian PVC pipe contains no heavy metal additives, which means no lead and no cadmium

Australian Standards for PVC pipe specifically exclude such additives and are the only national PVC pipe product standards to do so worldwide. 

No other Australian or international product standards have taken this step.

Furthermore, the Adaptation of the United States Green Building Council Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee Report for Relevance to Australian Drain-Waste-Vent Pipe  (BRANZ, 2008), found that for typical pipe products (e.g. plastic, coppar, cast iton, concrete) “no single material shows up as the best across all the human health and environmental impact categories, nor the worst”.

The GBCA further found that the level of dioxins emitted due to best practice production of PVC and its constituents is much less than that from other sources. Therefore, there is insufficient rationale for discrimination against PVC pipe on the basis of dioxin emissions (GBCA, 2010).