New initiative to tackle plastic and packaging waste in construction launched

THE Considerate Constructors Scheme has launched a new campaign to raise awareness and showcase best practice in how the sector can reduce, reuse and recycle plastics and packaging.

The ‘Spotlight on…plastics and packaging’ campaign comes in response to findings from a Scheme survey of over 900 people working in the UK and Irish construction industries.

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

The survey also revealed that 98% said 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.

The ‘Spotlight on…plastics and packaging’ campaign provides a suite of resources aimed at helping the industry address the issue of plastics and packaging waste. This includes a range of practical case studies and guidance from contractors, clients and service providers including Balfour Beatty, Crossrail, Mace, Morgan Sindall, Skanska and Sir Robert McAlpine.

Edward Hardy, Considerate Constructors Scheme chief executive commented, “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.”