The oldest plastic products, manufactured on a large scale and used in the building industry for instance in the form of pipes, have been in use for 60 years and are creating values they were back in the day.


Environmental balance sheets do not only take into account an economical use of resources, but also the cost of maintenance during the life of the applications. With an assumed average working life of 35 years, technical depreciation occurs at the low rate of 2.85% per year. Plastics in the construction industry hence allow for an very economical use of resources.


As most plastics are either easy to maintain or require no maintenance at all, they also achieve first-class marks in the evaluation of their life-cycle. Compared to alternative materials in the building industry, plastics usually do well in environmental assessments. In addition to saving resources, the low maintenance cost throughout their life cycle and good recyclability of many plastics used in construction have a positive influence on these assessments. Materials such as pipes and window frames used in mono-plastic building products are recycled at the end of their working life.


Plastics also make a great contribution to the saving of

energy: Plastic foams are used widely for thermal insulation

of house walls, floors, roofing, pipes and many other

applications.Without such plastic thermal insulation,

the high targets adopted by the world

community for CO2 reduction could not be realized.

B & C


Plastics are widely used in
Building and Construction

Construction profiles such as window frames achieve high thermal insulation values and energy savings in winter time and, at the same time, insulation systems protect the building from over-heating in summer. This contributes to the  the quality of the accommodation and reduces the need for air-conditioning.


Plastic insulation systems make a significant contribution to noise protection and noise insulation, again adding to quality of life.


Besides from pipes and insulation, the third major application area of plastics is in wall covering and flooring. Flooring, in particular those made of PVC, have been in use for 60 years, and have proved their worth in domestic areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, corridors and children's rooms. Most of us are well familiar with public areas, such as hospitals, sick-rooms, operating theaters, schools, municipal buildings, offices and sports centers covered by PVC floors.

Window Frames are another widespread are of application for plastics, made almost exclusively out of PVC. This usage of the material has developed relatively recent (since around 1965) but has secured more than a 50 % share of window systems in the major industrialized countries of Europe.


Although the life-cycle calculation for window frames indicates an average life of 40 years, the actual technical end of their working life has not yet been reached and to date, few used window frames yet ave been returned. Recycling of window frames has been developed for incorporating parts of the recyclate in new profiles.

With the exception of insulation and board applications, PVC is by far the most-used plastic in all application areas in building and construction. 


Glass-like transparency, abrasion resistance, resistance to sunlight, waterproofing, resistance to low temperatures and resistance to acids, chemicals and washing and cleaning agents - these are just a few of the outstanding properties that various plastics can offer in their usage. 

© 2017 by European Plastics Converters

Designed & Managed by Polymer Comply Europe