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While plastic recycling is at an all-time high, there is still significant room for improvement for the building industry. The problem is only likely to get worse as countries that have previously taken plastics, such as China, are now no longer able help.
The largest offender for plastic waste in the building & construction industry comes from packaging for building materials. There is also the issue of the waste that is produced by staff in the industry; the construction industry is one of the world’s largest and this means that there is a significant human element to the issue.
While clearly there is a huge problem with plastics in the building history, the bigger problem appears to be the reticence to do anything about it. The industry already has significant oversight and is likely to resist efforts to change its use of plastics.
Principally the issue is one of incentives; cleaning up the use of plastics will come at a cost to businesses and clearly they are unlikely to opt to spend more money unless there is some kind of incentive to do so.
The Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) has launched the “Spotlight on plastics and packaging” to give guidance on what the industry can do to improve upon its efforts. The scheme is raising awareness and showcasing best practices for the industry. The scheme highlights some startling figures such as the fact that the building industry produces 23% of the UK’s plastic waste. It is hoped that by throwing a spotlight on the problem, businesses will respond.
The problem of plastic in the building & construction industry is something of a paradox; as buildings are designed and built greener than ever, the industry that’s involved in producing these buildings produces significant amounts of plastic waste.
So how exactly does the industry tackle the problem? Clearly there are a few different issues to tackle; the packaging and human ones for a start. The packaging one may be best tackled at the source; this is where specifiers can have a huge impact – by insisting on green alternatives, specifiers hold disproportionate power to influence the way that building materials are supplied. As for the human plastic waste issue, being given the ability to recycle may be enough to produce drastic change.
Human beings desperately need to turn the tide on single use plastics. Our environment can no longer sustain our current level of waste production and we need to change course before it is too late. Our industry has the option to do more – it is an option that must be chosen. We have already turned the corner on building design, creating amazing designs that make the most of renewables, we now need to turn the corner on the waste that goes into the industry behind it.
MD, ALPMA UK
"I’m very pleased how they’ve gone through it all and actioned it and they’ve got good depth of resource, good depth of people, and good skilled people who work well and tightly and good communication. So I’m delighted."
Thank you to Spaceway for the improvements that have been made to move Bodywise forward. You've done a very good job and we look forward to working with you again.
Our project was finished on time and to budget in what was a very short timescale, which is a credit to the team at Spaceway!
The office fit out is superbly finished to the highest standards and beyond our expectations.
We're very impressed with the Spaceway team and the whole project was installed without fault. We are looking forward to working with the team again.
It’s no good having just an empty industrial building you need a concept for space, a design, an infrastructure and someone to build it. Designing something like this from scratch with someone who’s willing to invest in your ideas, Spaceway is your perfect partner.
We were delighted with the service from Spaceway.
The project was designed to meet our specific requirements which included fitting in 20 more additional workstations using the existing space. The design works well and has met our expectations fully, we will continue to use Spaceway, they do a good job.
The project was challenging to say the least with the removal of 280 workstations and fitting of 400 new ones, along with collaboration areas and 400 bespoke lockers over two weekends, but Spaceway managed to complete this along with office refurbishment works on time and to an excellent standard.
Another project well done by Spaceway. As before, we're very pleased with everything from concept through to completion.
“I was so happy I did not get bothered throughout the extensive works and that a strict timetable was completed flawlessly. Fantastic experience all round.”
Plastimo UK Limited
We are delighted with the finished product. The space has been turned into an exceptional working environment, which will serve us well for years to come
Spaceway worked with us to create the perfect environment for our staff. The completed project was fantastic and utilised the space to provide practical, modern and attractive working surroundings.