UPVC plumbing has been one of the most significant construction advances in the last 20 years.
It’s used almost universally - below and above ground - instead of cast iron and clayware, which were heavy, cumbersome and breakable. With plastic drainage components jointing is easy and instant; lead and mortar jointing are a thing of the past.
Ninety percent of the time it’s hidden or buried, and therefore often unappreciated. When it is seen, such as in plastic rainwater goods, the ability to shape, mould and colour the material means that it’s a good replacement for traditional materials.
It’s an unsung practical innovation - these are usually the most important.