Copper Pipes: The Sustainable Solution?

Published: 21 Oct 2022 ・ Read time: 5 mins
Industries across the globe are racing to reduce waste and increase sustainability, and the plumbing industry is no exception.
Organisations such as the Copper Sustainability Partnership (CuSP) have recently launched to help raise awareness of unsustainable practices within the plumbing industry, and offer ecologically beneficial alternatives. CuSP is taking a stand against the overuse of plastic in plumbing – especially in new build housing. They state that less than 3% of all plastic used in the UK is made from recycled sources, and most of the plastic that is used ends up landfilled, incinerated, or exported.
Plumbing professionals have seen plastic piping become increasingly prevalent over the years, due to its cost effectiveness, flexibility, and accessibility. They have quickly become the universal standard for all types of plumbing projects - and for good reason.
Yet CuSP are forging a different path, instead championing the environmental advantages of using copper piping in built up environments.
Mark Millerchip, co-founder of CuSP, states that “It’s critical we use materials which can meet our needs without depleting our natural resources, or causing damage to our health or environment.” He goes on to state that “Most people avoid using disposable plastics like bags, straws, or bottles, yet few question the environmental impact of the materials used to build their homes.
Copper can be used, reused, and recycled infinitely, without the loss of its properties. It provides a fantastic alternative to disposable plastic piping.
At this point, the conscientious professional may be wondering whether copper piping would work well for their own jobs. Let’s talk about the advantages of using copper piping, as well as a few cases where it’s not suitable.

The Benefits of Copper Piping

1. Durability

It’s no secret that copper piping is extremely durable. Expect copper pipes to remain strong for 50-80 years, depending on conditions. 
Its strength and tenacity vastly reduce the chance of leaks, cracks, and splits in your pipework for decades to come.

2. Corrosion, Fire and Frost Resistance

As a professional, you’ve probably fixed your fair share of slab leaks caused by corroded pipes. Copper piping is virtually corrosion resistant, meaning your piping won’t cause damaging slab leaks down the line.
What’s more, copper pipes boast incredibly high thermal ratings, making them incredibly resistant to extreme temperatures. No more frozen water pipes in the winter or burst pipes in the summer.
Copper pipes

3. Safer Water

Copper pipes cannot taint water with rust or other contaminants. This makes them one of the safest pipe choices for any home or office.

4. Flexibility

Copper piping is extremely lightweight, especially when compared with other metal piping. Its flexibility exceeds that of plastic piping, essentially giving you the best of both worlds.
Due to its weight (or lack thereof), flexibility, and all-round strength, plumbers can extend copper piping over vast distances with relative ease.

 5. Environmental Impact

As mentioned previously, copper pipes are a practical yet sustainable way for installers to help the environment. During the manufacturing process, copper piping emits far fewer emissions and chemicals into the environment than alternatives. Not to mention the infinitely-recyclable benefits of using copper.

When is Copper Piping Not Suitable?


Tight-budget Projects

Unfortunately, the durability, flexibility, and safety of using copper pipes comes at a price.
Both PEX and PVC pipes are around a third of the cost of copper pipes – yet depending on the type of job or installation you’re performing, your customers may find the extra money spent on copper pipes is highly beneficial.

No matter the type of piping you use for your jobs, City Plumbing has a range of plumbing essentials ready for next day delivery or same day collection at industry-leading prices.
For more information about the sustainable benefits of using copper in your jobs, click here to visit the CuSP website.

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