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CPVC's Environmental Impact

Posted by TempRite® Engineered Materials EMEA Team on 01/21/2021

TempRite® Engineered Materials’ commitment to sustainability and a reduction in adverse environmental effects and byproducts dates back to the early pioneering of CPVC. Today, CPVC resins are boosting manufacturers environmental credentials thanks to its inherent benefits:

  • CPVC requires less energy to produce than many alternatives
  • Reduced toxicity of combustion byproducts
  • Recyclability both at manufacturing stage and at the end of the product’s life cycle

Assessing CPVC vs Metal's Environmental Impact

An ISO compliant, independent life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted, in order to assess the environmental impact of TempRite CPVC against metal.

In all environmental categories bar one, CPVC outperforms metal:

✔ Metal depletion - Consumption of industrial metals is less rapid in CPVC processing.

✔ Fossil depletion - CPVC is 67% chlorine from salt mines and therefore requires less fossil depletion in order to manufacture.

✔ Terrestrial acidification - Mining produces acids, burns energy and creates waste. Metal depends heavily on this.

✔ Freshwater eutrophication - Aquatic ecosystems are less affected by CPVC.

✔ Climate change - CPVC makes less of a contribution to the conditions of our climate.

✔ Human toxicity - In the assessment of potential harm to human health, this was among the highest performing categories for CPVC over metal.

✔ Freshwater ecotoxicity - This too was among the highest performing categories, as CPVC’s impact on freshwater ecosystems is significantly less than metal.

✔ Photochemical oxidation - Secondary pollution from emissions is a higher threat in metal processing.

✔ Terrestrial ecotoxicity - CPVC outperformed metal in the analysis of effects on organisms in soil and plants.

✔ Water depletion - Metal processing requires a lot of water, producing much wastage.

✔ Energy consumption - This was both non-renewable and renewable energy gas.

Metal’s only environmental advantage over CPVC is ozone depletion.



In accordance with RoHS legislation (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), it is not permitted for manufacturers to feature more than an absolute minimum of these listed chemicals:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Brominated flame retardants
  • Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP)

CPVC does not require these chemicals in its resin production or compounding; for example, its chlorine structure provides natural flame retardancy without the need for leachable flame retardant additives.


In Europe, materials must be manufactured in accordance with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACh.)

Many Lubrizol CPVC products are REACh compliant, however requirements are often being updated, so it is always advisable to talk to a Lubrizol representative for the latest REACh compliance on specific products.

Environmental Benefits of CPVC

Service life - Much plastic manufacturing goes into producing products that have a functional, but short shelf life; for example, the production of plastic bags and packaging. TempRite CPVC resins are engineered for a longer life cycle. In most cases, CPVC products are engineered for decades of use.

Recyclability - CPVC can be recycled and reworked; in fact, CPVC manufacturers recycle as they produce it, adding cutoffs back into the injection molding or extrusion process for prolonged production and minimal waste.

Lightweight - Compared to traditional metals, CPVC is much lighter and therefore easier to transport. Installation of a metal structure would require a lot more energy, both to the site and on site.

Corrosion Resistant - Metals frequently require the use of additional coatings and paints to protect the material below. CPVC is naturally corrosion resistant, requiring no paint or coatings, eliminating the need for additional environmental impact.

Inherently insulating - Metal naturally conducts and loses a lot of heat.  This results in energy wastage, and requires the use of insulating materials to minimize the energy loss.  CPVC is naturally insulative, often eliminating the need for additional insulating materials which carry additional environmental impacts.

Societal Benefits of Common CPVC Applications

Fire safety

  • TempRite CPVC has been engineered for use in leading fire safety systems worldwide, thanks to its inherent strength and reliability. As there is no need for flame retardant chemicals, which are prone to leaching, it is both safer for homes and more environmentally responsible. Our sprinkler systems are also easier and less expensive to install in multi-family residences where costs are typically cut.

Hot and cold water distribution

  • In hot and cold water distribution, CPVC compounds made for pipe and fittings in plumbing applications are used to distribute water all around the world. As hot water travels through metal pipes, you lose a lot of heat. Eventually more energy is required to maintain standard pressure and performance.
  • In many developing countries, it still is not easy to distribute clean water. This is one of the Indian government’s biggest priorities.  Lubrizol CPVC is being used to provide a nationwide solution that can distribute clean, safe water to families with minimal effect on the environment.

Food and beverage industry sanitation

  • In the food and beverage industry, particularly since the COVID 19 crisis, sanitation is highly scrutinized. Food processing areas with CPVC can handle corrosive sanitation chemicals a lot better without corroding.

Construction and architecture

  • In outdoor construction, partitions and fencing, architects have a responsibility to reduce the presence of harmful substances in our communities, whilst creating eye-catching designs. CPVC has no need for paint and toxic coatings in this application either, providing design flexibility without compromising on safety. Foamed panels in CPVC are naturally insulating; however, in many cases, metallic  paneling requires additional layers of thermal insulation. CPVC as foamed paneling provides cost effective building solutions in homes and commercial buildings.

TempRite Engineered Materials are making plumbing and construction easier, maintenance of our food industries cleaner and providing sustainable practices in manufacturing.

Talk to a TempRite Engineered Materials Expert