When plastic is used in a permanent form, it can be vital as a building material. However, when the material is single-use plastic, this becomes a bigger problem, that’s wasteful and can be easily avoided. These are the most common sources of plastic waste in construction:
- Plastic packaging (which accounts for 25% of packaging waste in construction).
- Unused materials from over ordering and off-cuts.
- Improper storage and handling.
- Over-specified project design.
- Workforce food packaging and utensils.
Here are five ways to reduce plastic packaging waste in construction:
- Talk with your supplier to see if they can reduce the packaging, or if they’re able to take back the packaging to recycle.
- Consider ordering in bulk or larger packs, as this will cut the volume of packaging per item.
- Use reusable plastic boxes to place and protect materials in. These boxes can then be returned to the supplier.
- Use large sheets of plastic sheeting that arrived as wrapping for use on site as weather protection.
- For the plastic packaging that can’t be recycled, send it to a licensed Waste Management Contractor. They are best placed to decide their destination.
Insulation Express also uncovered innovative ways some construction companies in the UK are recycling plastic.