The Scheme launches ‘Spotlight on… plastics and packaging’ to tackle the issue of plastic pollution in construction

This campaign raises awareness of the impact of plastics and packaging on the environment and provides the industry with guidance for addressing this issue.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, more than 8 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the early 1850s, and around 60% of that plastic has ended up in landfill or the environment. Despite the environmental risks associated with plastics and packaging, the construction industry continues to be reliant on plastic in its working practices. In fact, the construction industry is the second largest consumer of plastic in the UK. With this in mind, it is important that the industry works towards reducing its consumption of plastics and packaging, which is where our ‘Spotlight on… plastics and packaging’ campaign comes in.

The Considerate Constructors Scheme issued a survey which was taken by nearly 900 construction industry professionals and found that 98% believe the over-consumption of plastics and packaging is a global issue, while 81% said the construction industry is not doing enough to reduce its consumption of plastics and packaging. It is imperative then that the industry starts tackling the issue of plastic pollution.

The Scheme’s ‘Spotlight on… plastics and packaging’ campaign provides guidance and practical advice, and collates a range of resources and examples of best practice to help the industry address the issue of plastics and packaging.

There are a number of case studies from a variety of contractors, suppliers and organisations that are leading the way on reducing their consumption of plastics and packaging. Case studies include contributions from: AMA Waste Management, Aztec, Balfour Beatty, Crossrail, Environment Agency, Griffiths, Knight Build, Mace, Morgan Sindall, Multiplex, Protec, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska, Ward, Wates and Yes Recycling.

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 has been made – with over 76% of Scheme-registered construction sites setting targets to reuse, recycle and reduce 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.

Click here to read the Scheme’s ‘Spotlight on… plastics and packaging’ campaign