Speaker interview: Brian King, Advanced Drainage Systems

We had the pleasure of catching up speaker Brian King, Executive Vice President, Product Management and Marketing at Advanced Drainage Systems.

Brian leads Advanced Drainage Systems' Product Management and Marketing team, which works to accelerate the development and launch of new products for both pipe and allied products.  The organization also ensures that ADS’ sustainability efforts are fully integrated into its product management and marketing strategies.


What are the biggest challenges facing the market today and how can this be overcome?

For using HDPE and polypropylene pipe in DOT and other infrastructure projects the greatest challenge is free and open competition when bidding a project.  By ensuring that open procurement procedures are established and used, water, wastewater and stormwater projects can be constructed at the best price and best value for rate payers and taxpayers.

The second challenge is the availability of recycled plastic that can be used in the manufacture of HDPE pipe and products.  At ADS we continue to use more and more PCR.  Now, it’s up to about 515 million pounds annually.  Use of recycled is a watershed event for the industry and our environment as it presents an opportunity to reduce the overall environmental footprint associated with water management projects.  We can now take a bottle that has a two-month life and turn it into a product with a 100-year service life.  There needs to be more of an emphasis on creating and implementing a viable PCR collection infrastructure to meet increasing demand.  


In your opinion, what do you consider to be the greatest development in your industry in the last decade?

The ability to use post-consumer recycled content in pipe products, and the development of polypropylene pipe are two significant advances in water management.  


How do you see the sector developing in the next five to ten years?

There will be more opportunity for helping to save the water management system infrastructure.  This will come in the form of projects being initiated to replace systems that have reached the end of their usable life, and also with new projects as the features and benefits of thermoplastic pipe continue to be recognized.

Brian will be contributing to the industry debate, 'The future for pipe extrusion', at the Plastics Extrusion World Expo conference.