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Campaign to tackle plastics and packaging in construction launched

Survey
reveals shocking use of plastics and packaging in construction

18 February 2019: The Considerate
Constructors Scheme has launched its industry-wide campaign ‘Spotlight
on…plastics and packaging’ to raise awareness and showcase best practice
in how the construction industry can reduce, reuse and recycle plastics and
packaging.

The launch of the campaign – which features on
the industry’s Best Practice Hub – comes in response to
startling findings from a Scheme survey of over 900 people working within the
UK and Irish construction industries.

The survey discovered that although over 95% of
respondents said the industry needs to be doing something to reduce its
consumption of plastics and packaging, over half of respondents (51%) have
little understanding of the rules and regulations surrounding plastics and
packaging, and only 44% know how to recycle different plastic and packaging
materials.

The survey also revealed that:

  • 98%
    said the over-consumption of plastics and packaging is a global issue.
  • 92%
    believe plastics and packaging are extremely dangerous to the environment.
  • 81%
    said the construction industry is not doing enough to reduce its
    consumption of plastics and packaging.
  • 31%
    said they frequently use plastics and packaging that cannot be reused or
    recycled.

With the construction industry being the
second largest consumer of plastics in the UK
, it is imperative that the
construction industry reconsiders the way it consumes and disposes of plastics
and packaging to protect the environment and all life.

The Scheme is calling on all construction
sites, companies, suppliers and clients of construction projects to drastically
reduce their consumption of plastics and packaging. Not only does this offer
significant improvements for the environment and society as a whole, it also
makes commercial business sense, with many organisations reporting significant
cost savings achieved.

‘Spotlight on…plastics
and packaging’
provides a suite of resources to help the industry to address this issue. It
includes a range practical case studies and guidance from contractors, clients
and service suppliers including: AMA Waste Management; Aztec; Balfour Beatty;
Crossrail; Environment Agency; Griffiths; Knight Build; Protec; Right Waste
Right Place; Mace; Morgan Sindall; Multiplex; Skanska; Sir Robert McAlpine;
Wates and Ward.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief
Executive, Edward Hardy said: “As construction is the second largest consumer
of plastic in the UK, our industry has one of the greatest responsibilities to
society, and to the environment, to ensure that we are working tirelessly to
improve our standards in minimising waste from plastics.

“The Scheme’s ‘Spotlight on…plastics
and packaging’
campaign provides resources, practical support and guidance helping everyone to
take effective measures to tackle this issue. While considerable progress is
being made – with over 76% of Scheme-registered construction sites setting
targets to reduce, reuse and recycle waste – it is clear that a concerted
effort to raise further awareness, and to provide the necessary support, is
needed to achieve this drastic reduction in waste from plastics and packaging.”

‘Spotlight on…plastics and packaging’ follows a
number of hugely successful industry campaigns which the Scheme hosts on the
Best Practice Hub. In 2018, the Scheme launched the ‘Spotlight on…air
pollution’
and ‘Spotlight on…the next
generation’
with follow-on e-learning courses in each topic.
These campaigns have received over 48,000 views to date, with over 50,000
courses being taken.

Click here
to access the ‘Spotlight on…plastics and packaging’ campaign.

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