Manufacturers vs Single-Use Plastic

The construction industry, a significant contributor to global waste and carbon emissions, is starting to take steps to mitigate its environmental impact.

Leading the charge are those who have begun reducing the amount of single-use plastic they use in packaging and those who incorporate recycled plastics into their manufacturing and distribution processes. This shift not only tackles the issue of waste but also brings about a host of benefits, including sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and an enhanced brand reputation.

For instance, Glidevale Protect, one of bimstore's manufacturers, has removed the plastic from its product packaging, reducing waste and providing customers with appreciated environmental benefits. This innovative packaging approach has reduced waste while also improving the efficiency of the delivery process, with less packaging to manage.

Another whose products can be found on bimstore, GROHE has eliminated unnecessary plastic from its product packaging, which saves 37 million plastic items and 26 tons of poly bags annually. They use a product from their Rapid installation system as packaging for other product parts, replacing polystyrene or wrapping film with new options such as moulded pulp inserts. GROHE also supports Everwave, a German social business that aims to protect oceans from plastic waste. The interdisciplinary team comprising scientists, engineers, and marine biologists develops active and passive clean-up technologies for rivers, such as the Everwave CollectiX boat, to collect waste before it pollutes the oceans.

Orangebox, a furniture manufacturer on bimstore, is actively working on increasing the recyclability of their seating options and providing an end-of-life cycle solution for unwanted chairs. They have established a recycling facility at their manufacturing site in South Wales and have followed the principles of Cradle to Cradle. This approach has allowed them to offer a comprehensive 'Free Of Charge' take-back service for the Ara chair. In addition to that, they have already used a high percentage of recycled materials to manufacture the Ara chair. For instance, the Ara aluminium Spec chair contains 53% recycled content, while the post-consumer Ara plastic spec chair contains 42% recycled content.

More commonly, recyclable materials and plastics are also beginning to be incorporated into the products themselves. For example, Stelrad's Green Steel series takes the concept even further, as the radiators in this series are 100% recyclable and come with no outer plastic packaging. Similarly, several manufacturers, including AllProof, use 100% recycled plastics in their drainage systems, making them more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Recycled plastics are not just a solution to waste management but also a key to producing more sustainable construction materials. For instance, researchers from the University of Bath, in partnership with India's Goa Engineering College, have developed a new form of concrete that incorporates waste plastic instead of sand. This innovative approach could significantly reduce the material's carbon emissions, recycle plastic, and cut sand use, potentially saving around 820 million tonnes of sand per year.

To conclude, manufacturers embracing this movement are helping to address the waste issue that the construction industry faces. By using less plastic and innovatively reusing recyclable plastics, construction products can be made more sustainable, cost-effective, and eco-friendly.

Are you passionate about reducing plastic waste and preserving our environment? We work with manufacturers who share your vision! Check out their BIM objects and supporting documentation to learn about their eco-friendly efforts. And don't forget to explore our Green, EPDs, and Sustainable Water Management collections, specially curated to help you make more environmentally conscious choices. 

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