Plastics

  • Plastics employed in durable devices and packaging are durable, cost-effective, and pose no health risks to users.

Key indicators

  • Plastic materials in contact with water should meet US Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 177 (food-grade polymers).
  • Selected materials are UV resistant (resist yellowing, fading, and degradation); compatible/nontoxic when exposed to halogens, oxidants, or other chemical disinfectants; shatter resistant; and translucent when not tinted.
  • All materials in contact with drinking water for a drinking water treatment unit should comply with National Science Federation (NSF) Standards 42 and 53 and any other technology specific NSF standard (e.g., 44, 55, 58, 62).

Notes and exceptions

  • Low-income environments are typically harsh on plastic components—UV protection, abrasion resistance, impact resistance, and cost targets constrain material selection.
  • Tooling costs for plastics are high, but production costs at scale can be less than metal or ceramic.

Supporting evidence