Drinking water

How plastics help deliver clean water

Water is a valuable resource, and every effort should be made to avoid wasting it. The innovative use of plastics can help communities access clean, safe, and sustainable sources of water. From filters to water transportation for families to pipes and equipment for agriculture, a blend of simple solutions and technological advances is helping ensure that water is available for all.

Read more about the link between water and plastics in Plastics Le Mag

An ongoing commitment to ensuring safe drinking water in Europe

Products that come into contact with drinking water must be both technically and hygienically suitable for this purpose, as set out in the Drinking Water Directive (EU) 2020/2184 (DWD).

With the shift towards a list of authorised materials to be used for products that come into contact with water for human consumption, the joint Drinking Water Regulatory Group of Cefic-FCA & Plastics Europe has established a ‘certification’ subgroup. This group has worked on a position on composition disclosure for certification purposes – read about it here.

Versatile and flexible plastics

Plastics are a trusted material in civil engineering projects, such as offices, factories, and homes. They are versatile and can be used in many different ways.

Plastic pipes and tanks help keep drinking water safe and fresh while reducing leaks and waste. Plastics are also used for the pipes and services that deal with heating and cooling systems, wastewater, sewerage, surface water, and flood control. The flexible nature of plastics means that pipes are light to manoeuvre and install, less resistant to movement in the ground, and less likely to be damaged.

A long and useful life

Plastics used for water and other systems typically have a lifespan of over 100 years. They are resistant to corrosion and chemicals and need less replacement over their lifespan.

Their flexible nature, in comparison to more traditional rigid pipes, means fewer defects and breakages. They also contribute to the circular economy, as PVC, polyethylene, and polypropylene pipes can be easily mechanically recycled at the end-of-life, and the material used to make new objects. Chemical recycling is an option for composite pipes that are more difficult to recycle.

SaWa plastic water purification bag
2 min read

An efficient water purification solution – The SaWa bag by 4Life Solutions

At first glance, the SaWa bag looks like your average blue plastic bag. However, it’s far more than just packaging — it can purify contaminated water using a solar disinfection process and provide low-income communities with safe, affordable drinking water.
Helio water
2 min read

Helio: safe drinking water for all

At a time when over 2 billion people across the globe have no access to drinking water, two friends have developed an ingenious solution that uses solar energy to transform any source of water into safe drinking water.
2 min read

An adventure in solidarity, for access to drinking water

With Sail for Water, three French cousins set off on their first round-the-world trip on a sailing boat with the aim of combating the lack of drinking water by distributing water filters to the most deprived populations.
2 min read

Drinking water for everyone

In 2004, three friends created the 1001 fontaines association with the idea of enabling isolated rural communities in Cambodia to have access to water. To achieve this, they set up small ultraviolet water purification stations near the villages.
8 min read

Plastics dive into the water

The relationship between plastics and aquatic environments is not always that which immediately comes to mind. They can also be lifesavers: essential for making impure or salty water suitable for consumption. Polymers are now more than ever ready to take on the challenge of the century – making drinking water accessible to all.
8 min read

Plastics in the service of water

As a result of decrying the presence of plastics in the aquatic environment, it is easy to forget the crucial role they play in producing drinking water

Villagepump, the new source of drinking water for isolated communities

An interview with Rob van Opdorp, designer and founder of the Villagepump Company that is developing the use of mechanical pumps for water purification.
6 min read
2 min read

Fog Harvester

Developed some twenty years ago in Chile by the Canadian NGO Fog Quest, the technique used to convert fog into drinking water has been reproduced throughout the world.Its first use in North Africa has changed the lives of the inhabitants of five villages in the Moroccan south-west, who no longer need to travel several kilometres […]