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Plastics contribute to addressing the global water challenge

  • More than 1 billion people around the globe lack access to clean drinking water and more than 2 billion to basic sanitation
  • Water access and sustainable water management are major issues in rich and poor countries alike
  • As co-founders of the Stockholm Water Prize, awarded to Professor John Anthony Allan, Borealis and Borouge further enhance the contribution of plastics to addressing this challenge

"According to the Commission on Sustainable Development, up to 5.5 billion people around the world will live in severe water stressed areas by 2025. At the same time, up to 40% of our water supply is lost due to ageing pipe infrastructures", says Mark Garrett, CEO of Borealis and co-chairman of the Water Project of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). "We believe that the plastics industry can make a substantial contribution to addressing this challenge by improving the water footprint of its operations and by providing innovative solutions which help preserving water."

The nomination of Prof. John Anthony Allan as the 2008 Stockholm Water Prize laureate for his work on Virtual Water and water footprint marks a further step towards better management of water resources. It is a breakthrough concept and Borealis and Borouge, leading providers of innovative, value creating plastics solutions, are investigating how to apply it to the plastics value chain. Borealis is also exploring together with the WBSCD how this concept can be leveraged to the industry in general.

Borealis and Borouge recently created a joint initiative called Water for the World which aims at fostering knowledge and partnerships across the whole value chain to provide tangible, sustainable solutions for the global availability of safe drinking water and sanitation. The programme supports the transfer of water efficient technologies to water stressed areas around the globe.

Water access and sustainable water management are major issues in rich and poor countries alike. Whether caused by ageing infrastructures and the lack of maintenance in some countries or improper standards and practices in others, the efficiency of water networks can dramatically be improved through the use of high quality plastic pipes. Advanced plastics are considered to be the most sustainable materials for water pipes since they are leak-tight and durable. This offers not only peace of mind for end users but also helps saving lives, considering that more than 2.2 million people die each year from diseases associated with poor water and sanitary conditions.

"Borealis and Borouge are pleased to support the nomination of Prof. Allan as the laureate of the 2008 Stockholm Water Prize, based on his extensive research and breakthrough concepts to address the global water crisis", adds Garrett. "We will continue to take an active role in key international water events such as the World Water Week in Stockholm and the September World Water Congress in Vienna and to engage with various stakeholders to better manage water resources."


For further information please contact:

Kerstin Meckler, Borealis Group Media Relations Manager
Tel. +43 122 400 389,

Plastics contribute to addressing the global water challenge English, Dutch, German, Italian
Media Contact
Virginia Mesicek
External Communications Manager

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