Why is Plastic an issue?
Nearly every piece of Plastic begins life as a fossil fuel which means that at every stage of its lifecycle; there are greenhouse gas emissions:
Fossil fuel extraction and transportation.
Plastic refining and production.
Plastic waste handling.
Discarded plastic waste that enters the landscape and oceans.
According to the BRE [BREEAM Mat 06 Material Efficiency] the construction industry accounts for approximately 55% of the total annual materials consumption and buildings contribute 50% of total Co2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions.
In addition, the UK construction sector produces 50,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste annually and contributing to the 5 trillion micro-plastic particles floating around our oceans.
As a Sustainability Consultancy, and for Plastic Free July® we would like to better understand how the construction industry responds to the threat of Plastic waste and single-use Plastics.
We have challenged our team to contact large organisations within the construction industry to ask what they are doing to reduce plastic usage and waste. The companies we are approaching include major Property Developers, Construction Suppliers, Wholesalers and Hardware stores within the UK. During Plastic Free July® we will be asking these organisations questions including:
Whether they have identified their greatest problem plastics and what they are doing to address the issue?
If they have set targets for plastic reduction and based on what metrics they measure success?
Who do they think has the most significant role in eliminating plastic waste in the construction industry?
We hope to get insights from these organisations regarding their plastic reduction plans and identify any opportunities to help us all address the climate emergency within the construction industry.