Copper piping is undoubtedly very adaptable, durable, useful stuff, that doesn’t corrode and is easily recycled. However, it is very expensive and becoming scarce.
The best option currently is polyethylene pipework, which as well as being all the things copper pipework is, is also cheaper and very easily installed. See push-fit plumbing.


The main environmental issue with electrical systems is the plastic sheathing around wires, which is almost universally PVC. Dangerous chemicals are released when PVC is burnt – not ideal for electrical fires, nor for inexpensive ways to recycle the copper wire within.
There are now PVC-free options which nonetheless do the job required of them, including PE, ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA), polyamide, silicone, and other thermoplastic elastomers.
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