Plastic Pipe and The Future of Infrastructure

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To get a closer look at what’s occurring in the plastic pipe industry, Connections got the opportunity to speak with David Fink, President of the Plastics Pipe Institute. He and Jim Johnston, Vice President & Chief Technology Officer for McElroy, joined host Tyler Kern for a deep-dive discussion on plastic piping and Fink’s history in the industry.

Fink may be new to his role at PPI (he joined the institute as President in 2020), but his experience in plastics goes back 25 years to when he got his start at Dow Chemical.

“I started in sales in polyethylene resins and moved my way up into marketing and measurement positions,” Fink said. He then switched over to the manufacturing side for 13 years at WL Plastics. Fink is no stranger to the Plastics Pipe Institute. He was a board member for many years before taking the opportunity to become PPI’s President in January of 2020.

“PPI allows competitors to collaborate on information when it comes to codes, standards and regulations,” Fink said. The goal is to advance the opportunities for plastic piping systems. “The market for piping materials continues to evolve, and, obviously, as the infrastructure, such as water and sewer, gas, and other piping infrastructure, ages, it is a great opportunity for us to be out on the forefront and advocate on behalf of our membership.”

Public affairs and governmental relations are a PPI focus Fink believes essential to help recognize the role plastic piping can play in solving these infrastructure needs and challenges.

Beyond advocacy, Fink said education is another essential role for the PPI. They recently launched an online education platform geared to the contractors, engineers and key stakeholders in the plastics community. “We launched PPI e-learn, which is a learning management system,” Fink said. This platform provides flexibility in learning with a 24/7 education tool.

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