Our global consumption of plastic has seen an unparalleled increase in the past couple of decades. As a material which was designed specifically to break down at a slower rate, our use of plastic has had a significant impact on our planet. From its presence in ecosystems affecting all manner of animals, to the increasing mass of dumps filling with nondegradable waste, despite its fantastic applications in everyday life our overconsumption of this material has caused seriously adverse, sometimes even irreversible damage.
And the construction industry is no pillar of innocence within this plastic epidemic. In this blog post therefore, we will explore the concept of overconsumption of plastic throughout the sector and how the use of off-site construction can aid in reducing this dangerous level of waste.
Survey shows too much plastic wasted in construction industry
The basis for this blog post stemmed from the launch of a new campaign from the Considerate Constructors Scheme – a non-profit organisation which sets a code of practice for its voluntary members. The campaign, entitled ‘Spotlight on…plastics and packaging’ aims to help raise awareness for members within the construction industry about the vast amount of plastics it is using and ways to reduce and recycle these plastics and packaging.
Most interestingly, this campaign has been launched in response to the results of a survey the scheme had recently conducted. Sent out to over 900 individuals who are working within the construction industry across the UK and Ireland, the survey revealed that despite over 95% of respondents saying the industry needs to do more to reduce plastic consumption, only 44% know how to recycle different plastic materials. If you were to consider that the entire country uses over five million tonnes of plastic yearly, and less than a third of this is recycled in the UK, there seems to be some merit in the need for this campaign.
That does not mean however that the construction industry should be the focal point for who we blame for this overconsumption. Far from it. The industry is, however, the perfect canvas for change; whereby significant action can be taken to make a direct impact on how much plastic we are consuming. That is why the campaign from the CCS calls for construction companies to reduce their consumption of plastics and packaging to aid in improving our environment as a whole.
How off-site construction can better recycle materials
Although it may not offer a complete solution in the battle to reduce our overconsumption of plastic, the use of off-site building methods is a significant step in the right direction. The buildings we manufacture here at Springfield for example, are all produced in our ISO-approved warehouse. The warehouse provides our expert team with a controlled environment in which we can more closely manage different elements of the project that we wouldn’t be able to if we were to employ traditional methods and build on-site.
One primary feature in this respect is our use of materials. With over several decades of experience we understand the importance of using the best quality of materials to fulfil our client’s requirements. Our controlled environment means we can much more closely monitor the materials we use and therefore the amount of material we can recycle is significantly increased. This provides both an effective and efficient production method as well as an eco-friendlier one. In addition, our off-site construction techniques also mean that the building is produced at a much quicker rate than if we were to build on-site, meaning a reduction in the air pollution required to transport materials on-site.
Taking in the broader picture, off-site construction therefore is a fantastic method in reducing the amount of plastic we are consuming in the construction industry. Although it is not a definitive solution, it is a great place to start. To find out more about our off-site techniques or the buildings we offer, check out our website or call our fantastic team on 01744 851958.
Published: Apr 12 2019 in Industry News