plastics and packaging

Spotlight on… plastics and packaging raises awareness of the impact of plastics and packaging on the environment and provides the construction industry with guidance for tackling this issue...

read more

The campaign

‘Spotlight on… plastics and packaging’ raises awareness of the impact of plastics and packaging on the environment and provides the construction industry with guidance for tackling this issue…

Plastics and packaging are unavoidable in modern society, with the global market driven by consumerism and convenience, the demand for plastic is only increasing. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, more than 8 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the early 1950s, and around 60% of that plastic has ended up in either landfill or the natural environment.

For decades, society has ignored the environmental risks associated with plastics and packaging. However, recent scientific studies and documentary exposés such as David Attenborough’s Blue Planet have revealed just how detrimental plastics and packaging are to the environment and to human health.

The following statistics illustrate the severity of this environmental issue:

  • The UK uses over 5 million tonnes of plastic every year.
  • The UK exports around 450,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste each year.
  • Plastic packaging accounts for around 70% of all plastic waste produced in the UK.
  • Less than one third of plastic waste is recycled in the UK.
  • Globally, only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled.
  • Up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year.
  • An estimated 480 billion plastic bottles are sold across the world each year – this is around 20,000 plastic bottles every second.
  • Over 5 trillion micro-plastic particles are floating on the surface of our oceans.

Plastics and packaging

Packaging is defined as any material used to hold, protect, handle, deliver and present goods. Such materials might include cardboard, paper, timber and most notably, plastic.

Despite the environmental risks associated with plastic, the construction industry is reliant on plastic in its working practices. This is because plastic is cheap, lightweight, water-resistant and chemically inert, making it an ideal resource for the industry to use.

In fact, the construction industry is the second largest consumer of plastic in the UK:

  • The construction industry consumes 23% of all plastic produced in the UK.
  • The construction industry generates an estimated 50,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste every year.
  • In the construction industry, 60% of all skipped material by weight is packaging waste.
  • Around 25% of construction packaging waste by weight is plastic.
  • Piping and conduit are the largest uses of polymers in construction, and consume around 35% of production.
  • The construction industry produces three times more packaging waste than all UK households combined.

Plastic pollution

Over 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans every year. As plastics degrade, the fibres release toxic chemicals and hormone disrupters which contaminate the water and increase the risk of pollution. According to Orb Media, plastic contamination has been discovered in over 90% of bottled water samples. It is important to remember that this not only affects our oceans, but our human health and marine wildlife also.

Plastic pollution kills a number of fish, marine mammals and seabirds every year. Plastic debris has already harmed over 700 marine species worldwide, with fatalities deriving from ingestion, suffocation and entanglement. At present, plastic kills over 100,000 sea creatures every year, and by 2050, there will be more plastic (by weight) than fish in the ocean.

The production of plastic is also reliant on fossil fuels. Specifically, more than 99% of plastics are produced from non-renewable resources. This is dangerous for the environment because fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases and dioxins into the atmosphere, contributing to the rise in global warming. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation suggests that by 2050, the plastic industry could account for 20% of the world’s total oil consumption and 15% of the annual carbon budget.

Likewise, the volume of plastic consumed has created substantial waste management issues, with unsustainable levels of plastic accruing in landfill and the environment. Rather than being reduced, reused or recycled, plastics are often disposed of to landfill or local ecosystems. This degradation of plastic is dangerous because it generates hazardous toxins which increase the risk of ecotoxicity.

The Considerate Constructors Scheme

The Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice states that all registered sites, companies and suppliers are expected to protect the environment where possible. The checklist used by Scheme Monitors asks the following questions: ‘Are environmental issues identified, communicated, managed, and promoted?’, ‘Is waste avoided and the use of resources and energy minimised?’ and ‘How is a positive contribution being made to the natural environment?’

To support this campaign, the Scheme issued a survey which was taken by nearly 900 construction industry professionals to gauge attitudes on this topic. Key findings include:

  • 98% said the over-consumption of plastics and packaging is a global issue.
  • 95% said the construction industry needs to reduce its consumption of plastics and packaging.
  • 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.
  • 51% said they have little understanding of the regulations surrounding plastics and packaging.
  • 44% said the workforce knows how to recycle different plastics and packaging materials.
  • 31% said they frequently use plastics and packaging that cannot be reused or recycled.

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 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.”

The Scheme has founded the Plastics and Packaging Working Group comprising of representatives from a number of Scheme Partners. The group aims to develop a set of metrics that can be used by the industry to help monitor, manage and reduce plastic and packaging waste.

Nonetheless, there is still more work to be done if the industry is to tackle the issue of plastics and packaging. The following sections of this campaign showcase examples of best practice and in-depth case studies, while the resources section brings together organisations that are raising awareness of the environmental risks associated with plastic pollution.

 

 

 

Law and legislation

Click for more

Law and legislation

Preserving the environment is a central part of UK environmental law. The following legislation establishes policies and regulations in place to reduce plastic and packaging waste and consumption.

Click for more

External resources

Click for more

External resources

There are a number of organisations and resources available to help the construction industry understand the environmental risks associated with plastics and packaging.

Click for more

Examples of best practice

Click for more

Examples of best practice

The Scheme aims to improve the image of construction through sharing examples of best practice with the industry. Below are a number of examples of best practice that have been witnessed by our Scheme Monitors on their visits, or that have been submitted directly to the Hub by registered sites, companies, and suppliers.

Click for more

Case studies

Click for more

Case studies

The Scheme collaborated with various contractors, suppliers, and organisations which are leading the way on tackling plastic pollution, to produce case studies outlining their approaches to this important issue.

Click for more

What can you do?

While plastics and packaging are valuable resources, far too much is disposed of to landfill and the natural environment. It is imperative that the construction industry reconsiders the way in which it consumes and disposes of plastics and packaging to protect the environment and human health.

Sites, companies, and suppliers of all sizes can do something to reduce their consumption of plastics and packaging. Although some guidance may apply to larger organisations, there are suggestions applicable to all constructors which can be modified for their own purposes.

Create a comprehensive Site Waste Management Plan

Formulating a Site Waste Management Plan is no longer a legal requirement in England. Nevertheless, a Site Waste Management Plan could be incorporated into every site’s waste management and logistics plan to reduce waste being disposed of to landfill.

A Site Waste Management Plan can be developed before construction commences. The plan describes how materials, including plastics and packaging, will be managed and disposed of and explains how the reuse and recycling of waste will be maximised.

Although the Scheme’s survey results found that 91% of construction industry professionals have a Site Waste Management Plan in place, over 50% said the plan is inefficient for managing waste produced on site. To build an effective Site Waste Management Plan, the following should be considered:

  • Liaise with suppliers to prevent unnecessary plastic and packaging waste and to maximise the volume of sustainable packaging used.
  • Quantify the volume of materials that will be used to avoid excess waste, particularly packaging waste.
  • Estimate how much of each type of waste will be produced, and the proportion of which will be recycled and reused. Only dispose of waste to landfill as a last resort.
  • Update the plan as construction progresses to monitor how waste is being reused and recycled.
  • Identify where your plastics and packaging are being treated/recycles and publicise positive results.
  • Regularly communicate with your waste management supplier to ensure materials are separated and segregated to maximise recycling rates.

Using a Site Waste Management Plan not only protects the environment, but can significantly reduce financial costs. Sites could even consider implementing a Site Waste Management Plan solely for the purpose of plastic waste.

Introduce circular economy principles

The circular economy is an alternative to the traditional, linear economy of make, use, and disposal in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them while in use, and then recover the resources through reuse and recycling.

In construction, circular economy principles focus on designing out waste, reducing the volume of unsustainable materials consumed, and maximising the value of materials used.

Implementing a full scale circular economy is a challenging task. However, most sites, companies and suppliers can introduce some circular economy principles which will not only help to preserve the environment, but also drive financial savings by reducing the cost of handling and disposing of waste.

Ways in which circular economy principles can be introduced could include:

  • Consider conducting Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) on the plastics and packaging consumed on site. LCA takes into consideration the steps that lead from raw material to manufactured product, including extraction, energy consumption, manufacture, use, recycling, and disposal. This is useful for evaluating how sustainable the plastics and packaging used on site are.
  • The supply chain needs to look beyond the primary use of materials and consider the value and life cycle of materials throughout the design, specification, procurement, and construction process to avoid waste disposal to landfill.
  • The supply chain should try to preserve the natural capital of materials over the life cycle of the built environment to ensure materials are reused or recycled, rather than incinerated.
  • Clients and Principal Contractors should specify the reduction of unsustainable plastics and packaging, while suppliers should minimise the volume of plastic packaging used and choose reusable or recyclable alternatives.
  • During construction, contractors should regularly conduct internal audits on site to identify where plastics and packaging can be reused, remanufactured, recycled, or returned.
  • Contractors should establish waste reduction, reuse, and recycling targets to reduce the amount of waste produced on site.
  • The supply chain should incorporate Building Information Modelling (BIM). Using BIM can reduce waste through the management of information from different stakeholders.

Use sustainable materials

Often, contractors use plastic packaging because this is what they receive from suppliers. In fact, during most projects, 34% of waste produced on site is packaging. Contractors and suppliers must take responsibility and collaborate to ensure sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging are used where possible.

Ways in which suppliers can minimise plastic packaging might include:

  • Suppliers should provide contractors with packaging containing a high recycled content. Using packaging with a high recycled content is more sustainable than virgin plastic or packaging with zero recycled content.
  • Suppliers should use alternatives to plastic packaging including boxes, crates, pallets, and containers made from bamboo, timber, plywood, and cardboard.
  • 13% of construction waste is new, unused materials, wrapped in plastic packaging. Suppliers should operate take-back schemes so that plastic packaging can be returned for reuse.
  • Often, construction materials are wrapped in layers of plastic packaging. Suppliers should deliver construction materials with minimal or no packaging to prevent waste disposal to landfill.

Ways in which contractors can reduce plastic packaging might include:

  • Contractors should liaise with suppliers to ensure that they are using packaging that can be reused or recycled to avoid the accumulation of plastic waste.
  • Contractors should specify in their contracts with suppliers that primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging must be minimised where possible.
  • Contractors should use suppliers who operate a sustainability policy and have a good recycling record.
  • Contractors should avoid over-ordering materials and should order materials in bulk. Both strategies will help to minimise the production of plastic waste.

Avoid consuming single-use plastics

Although plastic is a useful resource, most plastic products are single-use, with an estimated 50% of plastic used once and thrown away.

Measures that could be introduced to reduce single-use plastics are as follows:

  • On construction sites, the industry consumes tens of thousands of plastic cups every year. Instead of allowing operatives to bring single-use plastics and packaging on site, provide the workforce with sustainable alternatives.
  • Become free of single-use plastics on site and in the office. This might include replacing plastic straws, plastic cutlery, and plastic cups, and using paper, glass or metal alternatives.
  • Consider using biodegradable plastics and packaging instead of single-use plastics. When exposed, biodegradable plastics decompose quickly and require fewer fossil fuels for production.
  • Provide the workforce with reusable bags to help site operatives avoid bringing their own single-use plastic bags.
  • Avoid using coloured plastics or plastics containing a mixture of polymers. These kinds of plastics cannot be recycled, and often disposed of to landfill.
  • Provide the workforce with reusable PPE including reusable overshoes and eyewear. Sites can even recycle used PPE including hard hats, face masks, and goggles.
  • Use hoarding materials which are made from recyclable materials, and materials which can be reused or recycled in the future.

Educate the workforce

To reduce plastics and packaging waste, Site Managers should educate the workforce about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling plastics and packaging.

Educating the workforce encourages operatives to be proactive and is an effective way for them to learn how to segregate, reuse, and recycle plastics and packaging, which in turn, will prevent waste being disposed of to landfill.

Site Managers should consider introducing the following strategies to educate the workforce:

  • At site induction, inform the workforce about the site’s environmental policy, environmental targets, and Site Waste Management Plan to reinforce the importance of protecting the environment.
  • Host environmental toolbox talks to remind the workforce about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling plastics and packaging.
  • Remind operatives of the waste hierarchy at site briefings to ensure they reuse and recycle plastics and packaging before disposing of waste to landfill.
  • Display posters on site to remind operatives to reuse and recycle plastics and packaging.
  • Provide leaflets and flyers in the site canteen to raise awareness of the environmental risks associated with plastics and packaging.
  • Encourage operatives to use the Scheme’s e-learning course. Our Protect the Environment e-learning course will provide operatives with information regarding waste management and resource efficiency.
  • 34% of people in the UK regularly put plastic in a non-recycling bin. Site Managers should show operatives what kinds of plastics and packaging can be reused or recycled.
  • Site Managers should introduce clearly labelled recycling skips and bins on site to make the process of recycling easier. By segregating plastics, waste disposal costs can be reduced by over 60%. The Best Practice Hub describes the waste colour coding system here.

Set an example

Reducing plastics and packaging at site level is an important way in which the industry can work towards protecting the environment. Even small steps can make a huge difference and will set a precedent for environmentally conscious behaviour.

Site Managers can set an example by implementing the following measures:

  • Encourage the workforce to participate in environmental campaigns including: #PassOnPlastic, #PledgeLessPlastic, #PlasticFreeFriday, World Environment Day, and National Recycling Week. This will raise awareness of environmental issues among the workforce and help to reduce the consumption of plastic.
  • 24% of people in the UK rarely, or never, pay attention to the amount of disposable plastic they use. Site Managers should encourage employees to change their lifestyle choices and to adopt positive environmental behaviour.
  • Encourage operatives to think of ways to reduce plastic and packaging waste. This form of communication can drive forward best practice and innovation.
  • Reward operatives for their contributions and suggestions for reducing plastics and packaging. This might include a certificate, food voucher, trophy, or small monetary reward.
  • Start a performance league table in regards to reuse and recycling. This will encourage good environmental practice while being a fun way to drive competition.
  • Work with the local community to engage in local litter picks and clean-up events. Donate unused plastics and packaging to the community – you never know who might want them!

This campaign has shown that the construction industry is making considerable progress and is working hard towards reducing its consumption of plastics and packaging. However, the industry must now continue to make long term commitment to tackling plastic pollution as an entire sector.

Alongside the information above, it it also advised to use the resources provided in the ‘External resources’ section of the campaign which identifies valuable information from other organisations.

The Scheme will continue to update this campaign as new case studies and examples of best practice emerge. If you would like to share how you are addressing the issue of plastics and packaging, please contact the Best Practice Hub team by emailing: enquiries@ccsbestpractice.org.uk 

 

Navigational menu
Close menu

Campaign sections

More on... Spotlight on… plastics and packaging

Close examples of best practice

Examples of best practice

The Scheme aims to improve the image of construction through sharing examples of best practice with the industry. Below are a number of examples of best practice that have been witnessed by our Scheme Monitors on their visits, or have been submitted directly to the Hub by registered sites, companies, and suppliers.

Re-usable bottles

Published 2 September 2019 | No comments
Written by Marilla King-Smith
Categories Awareness Planting Plastics and packaging Re-use Recycle Reduce
CategoriesAwareness Planting Plastics and packaging Re-use Recycle Reduce

We have launched new KpH Reusable Bottles at our Strip Out sites. The initiative came about as a result of the ‘Spotlight on… plastics and packaging’ campaign (to assess how much single-use plastic we were producing on-site) and as part of our wider Waste Management Review. We asked our site at Bishopsgate to save their drinks bottles for two weeks….

Expanded Polystyrene Recycling

Published 2 September 2019 | No comments
Written by Jake Phillips
Categories Plastics and packaging Recycle Sustainable solutions
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Recycle Sustainable solutions

When ENGIE was contracted to replace the cladding at Eyot House in Bermondsey, our commitment to be at the forefront of environmentally conscientious construction methods demanded a creative approach to recycling and repurposing the old expanded polystyrene (EPS) removed from the building. The existing EWI system comprised an insulation layer of expanded polystyrene (EPS) board, for which it was important…

Plastics and Packaging Actions: Creating Bird Feeders

Published 2 September 2019 | No comments
Written by Attracta Mathews
Categories Awareness Careers advice Post-completion impact Schools
CategoriesAwareness Careers advice Post-completion impact Schools

GRAHAM-BAM Healthcare Partnership recently hosted 14 girls aged 10–13 from the Women’s Tec Summer Scheme GIRLTEC Academy to raise awareness of environmental considerations in construction projects. The workshop formed part of a practical visit to the GBHP Royal Victoria Hospital site to encourage female pupils to consider future careers in construction. The visit included talks and hands on activities from…

Glass Milk Bottles

Published 12 August 2019 | No comments
Written by Lauren Smith
Categories Green purchasing Local shop Plastics and packaging Re-use Reduce Sustainable solutions
CategoriesGreen purchasing Local shop Plastics and packaging Re-use Reduce Sustainable solutions

To reduce plastic waste on the Trafford Park Line Manchester Metrolink Project, we decided to make the switch from plastic milk bottles to glass ones. The glass milk bottles not only worked out cheaper than buying milk in the plastic ones, but they are all rinsed and sent back for re-use instead of being destroyed. The glass milk also comes…

Eco-Friendly Hoarding

Published 12 August 2019 | No comments
Written by Ushna Mughal
Categories Branding Corporate badging Enclosures First Impressions campaign Green purchasing Initial impressions Plastics and packaging Re-use Recycle Sustainable solutions Sustainable source
CategoriesBranding Corporate badging Enclosures First Impressions campaign Green purchasing Initial impressions Plastics and packaging Re-use Recycle Sustainable solutions Sustainable source

​​​Go-Hoard™ is the new, eco-friendly hoarding system from Blok N Mesh UK. The hoarding panels are manufactured using recycled UPVC and are fully recyclable after use, ensuring a sustainable solution for the environment. The hoarding system has a smooth flat finish which is ready to accept vinyl graphics and can also be supplied in your corporate colours. Custom coloured skirting…

Public Water Dispenser

Published 5 August 2019 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories First Impressions campaign Goodwill Initial impressions Plastics and packaging Sensitivity to neighbours
CategoriesFirst Impressions campaign Goodwill Initial impressions Plastics and packaging Sensitivity to neighbours

This site has fitted a public water dispenser in a slot within the hoarding. There is also interesting information displayed on the importance of not using single-use plastics. The location of the water dispenser has been put on a national database, which uses an app, so members of the public can find it. The dispenser is also fed from the…

Reducing the use of single-use plastics

Published 5 August 2019 | No comments
Written by Ushna Mughal
Categories Businesses Plastics and packaging Residents Suppliers
CategoriesBusinesses Plastics and packaging Residents Suppliers

The project team have been the proud sponsor of the Urban Village Fete in North Greenwich since 2017. This fete draws on local suppliers, designers and performers, and provides a forum for top local talent for a community day full of stalls, music, DJs, dance, art and design workshops and food trucks with an international flavour. This year, in addition…

MukGuard: Re-usable Over Shoes

Published 5 August 2019 | No comments
Written by Leah Barrett
Categories Plastics and packaging PPE Re-use Reduce
CategoriesPlastics and packaging PPE Re-use Reduce

The Broadway project have taken steps to eradicate single use plastics on site, and have therefore banned the use of plastic blue over shoes, replacing them with MukGuard overshoes. MukGaurds are a re-usable, washable and durable over shoe, with sole grips to prevent slips. To find out more, click on the link below.

Spotlight on… plastics and packaging follow up article

Published 5 August 2019 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Plastics and packaging
CategoriesPlastics and packaging

In February 2019, the Scheme launched its latest campaign, ‘Spotlight on… plastics and packaging’, to raise awareness of the issue of plastic pollution in the construction industry. ‘Spotlight on… plastics and packaging’ provides guidance and resources to help the construction industry reduce its consumption of plastics and packaging. The campaign includes statistics, examples of best practice and valuable resources. It…

Re-usable fabric door handle covers

Published 24 June 2019 | No comments
Written by Mariyana Stoyanova
Categories Green purchasing Plastics and packaging Reduce Sustainable solutions
CategoriesGreen purchasing Plastics and packaging Reduce Sustainable solutions

At South Quay Plaza we are committed to minimise our use of disposable plastics, following the CCS ‘Spotlight on… plastics and packaging’ campaign. As part of this we have developed a plastics and packaging minimising strategy. Our latest initiative challenged us to review the different types of disposable plastic protection we use on site and find an alternative. A major…

Environmentally Friendly Concrete Reinforcements

Published 29 May 2019 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Plastics and packaging Post-completion impact Rivers/watercourses Spill control
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Post-completion impact Rivers/watercourses Spill control

This project mostly consists of repairs to the existing masonry walls, using a combination of concrete, structural grouts and mortars, and replacement stone blocks from a local quarry. Scour and erosion to the toe of wall is recognised as a potential source of weakness in the future, so concrete protection is proposed in two areas: the toe beam and the…

Turning Plastic into Eco-Bricks

Published 29 May 2019 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Planting Plastics and packaging Re-use Recycle Reduce Sustainable solutions
CategoriesPlanting Plastics and packaging Re-use Recycle Reduce Sustainable solutions

The site team wanted to contribute to reducing the use of single-use plastics and give a second life to something that otherwise would be thrown away. They achieved this by implementing a very simple solution, which consisted of re-using plastic bottles and packaging ready to be discarded, and turning them into Eco-Bricks. An Eco-Brick is a re-usable building block created…

Environmental Performance and Report

Published 21 May 2019 | No comments
Written by Luke Smith
Categories Actual vs target Air quality Carbon footprint reporting Carbon offsetting Energy saving measures Plastics and packaging Promoting achievements Sustainable solutions
CategoriesActual vs target Air quality Carbon footprint reporting Carbon offsetting Energy saving measures Plastics and packaging Promoting achievements Sustainable solutions

The Wellington Place 7 and 8 project team, led by Dan Miller, has shown great leadership and professionalism by using their sphere of influence to achieve the environmental targets set at the beginning of the project. Highlights Include: 59% reduction in CO2 emissions from the following measures: 100% Renewable energy electricity supply, primary and secondary lighting circuits that reduce unnecessary…

Journey to Reducing the Impact of Packaging

Published 10 May 2019 | No comments
Written by Cintia Bailey
Categories Debris Litter Plastics and packaging Re-use Recycle Sustainable solutions
CategoriesDebris Litter Plastics and packaging Re-use Recycle Sustainable solutions

Every year, countless crisp packets end up in landfill sites across the UK. To put an end to this enormous loss of resources and the unnecessary impact on the environment, The Crisp Packet Recycling Scheme was launched. On our M25 DBFO project, Connect Plus Services is joining forces with Highways England in the journey to reducing the impact of packaging….

Environmental Workshops: Saving Our Blue and Green Planet

Published 10 May 2019 | No comments
Written by Carol Kirby
Categories Awareness Goodwill work Plastics and packaging Residents Schools Wildlife
CategoriesAwareness Goodwill work Plastics and packaging Residents Schools Wildlife

At Borras, we were looking for ideas to better engage with students within the schools that we work in. We touched upon the idea of developing an Environmental Workshop where the children could learn about how the construction industry is working towards sustainable development goals via a series of fun and hands-on learning activities. We have now developed a series…

Weatherproof Paper

Published 29 April 2019 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Green purchasing Plastics and packaging Sustainable solutions
CategoriesGreen purchasing Plastics and packaging Sustainable solutions

The site has decided not to use laminated notices due to the fact that these cannot be recycled. Instead, all notices that would ordinarily be laminated are printed on paper that has recycled plastic within it. The sheets look like ordinary paper but have a similar consistency as new sterling notes. They are also recyclable. To find out more, click…

Turning Plastic Waste into Building Materials

Published 29 April 2019 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Plastics and packaging Re-use Recycle Reduce Sustainable solutions
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Re-use Recycle Reduce Sustainable solutions

There has been a distinct practice to reduce and try to eliminate single-use plastics, which involves turning plastic waste into ecobricks. Personal use sized commercial water bottles are used to collect waste, and are filled with plastic film from traditional sources such as empty crisp packets, food wrap, plastic bags and many other sources to achieve a specified weight and…

Single-use plastics workshop

Published 16 April 2019 | No comments
Written by Patrick Smith
Categories Awareness Environmental policy promoted Plastics and packaging Reduce
CategoriesAwareness Environmental policy promoted Plastics and packaging Reduce

As a responsible business, Mace is reducing the 3,000 tonnes of plastic waste it generates every year and will reduce its consumption of single-use plastics by 20% on sites and corporately by 80%. To do this, we have launched a single-use plastic reduction campaign across the business called ‘Time to Act’ which encourages people to ditch unnecessary plastics. At Mace’s…

Environmental Notice Board

Published 8 April 2019 | No comments
Written by andrea lilly
Categories Actual vs target Environmental policy promoted Notice board Plastics and packaging Promoting achievements Recycle Spill control
CategoriesActual vs target Environmental policy promoted Notice board Plastics and packaging Promoting achievements Recycle Spill control

At the site set-up stage, Pacy & Wheatley issue an “Environment Notice Board” to all sites to display in the welfare/ canteen cabin for all site operatives and visitors to site to view. This includes the following: P&W Objectives and Targets. Site Specific Aspects. Waste Carrier Details. Other points of reference which are displayed on the same board. Emergency Spill…

Community Litter Picking

Published 25 March 2019 | No comments
Written by Simon Young
Categories Community liaison Debris Goodwill Litter Plastics and packaging Recycle Sensitivity to neighbours
CategoriesCommunity liaison Debris Goodwill Litter Plastics and packaging Recycle Sensitivity to neighbours

GMI regularly attend the local community/ developer/ council meetings, and an issue regularly raised by the community is that of general litter in the area which is not necessarily site specific. A member of the community suggested splitting up the area into zones around sites/ businesses with each taking responsibility for their respective zone. GMI have bought into this and…

Sustainability Quiz

Published 21 March 2019 | No comments
Written by Jack Heaney
Categories Awareness Schools
CategoriesAwareness Schools

Galliford Try have created a sustainability quiz for the school as a new way to communicate environmental issues. The quiz aims to bring awareness and thought to the students in a fun way. The kids had to match up the picture to the estimated time it takes for some everyday items to decompose. Increasing waste volume is a major concern…

The Great British Spring Clean

Published 18 March 2019 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Goodwill work Litter Plastics and packaging
CategoriesGoodwill work Litter Plastics and packaging

The Great British Spring Clean is an event organised by Keep Britain Tidy which calls on #LitterHeroes across the country to help improve their local environment. The aim is to get as many people as possible to collect and safely dispose of litter found on streets, parks and beaches, recycling as much of it as possible. You can take part…

Beeswax Sandwich Wraps

Published 12 November 2018 | No comments
Written by Tom Hook
Categories Re-use Reduce Sustainable solutions
CategoriesRe-use Reduce Sustainable solutions

On the London School of Economics CBR Mace project, we have been trying to reduce our use of plastics on site and in the welfare facilities. This is part of a wider Mace initiative and clear environmental benefits. We have introduced beeswax sandwich wraps which are made predominantly from old shirts and are 100% washable and reusable. These have been…

Environmental Wheel

Published 12 November 2018 | No comments
Written by Catherine Barrett
Categories Awareness Plastics and packaging Workforce
CategoriesAwareness Plastics and packaging Workforce

Day-to-day, we all have an influence on the environment we live in. Our ‘Environmental Fact Wheel’ offers interesting facts about the little things we do day-to-day which can have an effect on the environment. We have divided the facts into five main target areas: Resources, Water, Waste, Carbon and People. Examples include: Recycling only one aluminium can saves enough energy…

Weatherproof Paper

Published 6 November 2018 | One comment
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Recycle Sustainable solutions
CategoriesRecycle Sustainable solutions

Galliford Try has introduced the use of weatherproof paper for site specific exterior notices such as site zoning information, safety campaign displays and PPE reminder notices. The paper is water, oil, fade and tear resistant leaving the site signage looking much more professional for longer. This also reduces the amount of laminating and plastic waste that the site is producing….

Re-Usable Packaging

Published 26 October 2018 | No comments
Written by Mariyana Stoyanova
Categories Plastics and packaging Re-use Sustainable solutions Sustainable source
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Re-use Sustainable solutions Sustainable source

The construction industry is estimated to be responsible for around 40% of the UK’s waste. We have been working with our subcontractors to tackle this issue and minimise unnecessary waste. SQP is the first site to use reusable, collapsible boxes for our M&E. These were specially developed for use at SQP and was something the contractor developed as part of…

Yuley’s Overshoes

Published 24 September 2018 | No comments
Written by Lauren Smith
Categories MIU Plastics and packaging PPE
CategoriesMIU Plastics and packaging PPE

Laing O’Rourke has been using Yuley’s Overshoes.  Yuley’s Overshoes are a reusable, rigid, hard overshoe that offer superior protection versus the more common, thin plastic single-use overshoes traditionally used on sites. In addition to environmental benefit of being reusable until they become damaged, Yuley’s are also completely recyclable. Yuley’s are a hands-free system, meaning that people are not transferring any…

Project Plastic Reduction

Published 13 September 2018 | No comments
Written by Jane King
Categories Plastics and packaging Recycle Reduce
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Recycle Reduce

The site team at the Manchester Metropolitan Arts and Humanities project engaged with the company’s plastic reduction campaign and all committed to a plastic pledge. As a result, several initiatives were introduced on the project including: Every operative at induction is provided with a project branded plastic bottle. The project has switched from purchasing milk in plastic containers to organic…

Single-Use Plastic Reduction Campaign

Published 24 August 2018 | No comments
Written by Jane King
Categories Campaigns Plastics and packaging
CategoriesCampaigns Plastics and packaging

To coincide with World Environment Day 2018 we decided to focus on single-use plastics used across our projects and offices. World Environment Day is the most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness of global environmental issues. The theme this year was around making everyday changes to reduce the burden of plastic pollution. All of our offices were asked to support…

Protective glasses recycling bin

Published 20 July 2018 | No comments
Written by Kevin Roodt
Categories Plastics and packaging Recycle
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Recycle

A sub-contractor on our site has provided a bin for recycling protective glasses that have been damaged. This is sent to a specialist recycling company to separate the plastic and metal elements. This is available for all contractors on site and has been placed on the green route.

Turning Hi-Viz Jackets into Dog Coats

Published 2 July 2018 | No comments
Written by Kevin Trow
Categories Re-use Recycle
CategoriesRe-use Recycle

As a result of a company re-branding exercise, Castleoak had several dozen insulated, hi-vis jackets surplus to requirements. Instead of sending to landfill, we decide to seek a reuse opportunity for them. Working with Keep Wales Tidy we came up with the idea to re-purpose into hi-vis dog jackets. They are being sold online to raise funds for Keep Wales…

Single-Use Plastic Free Site

Published 19 June 2018 | No comments
Written by Georgina Grafakou
Categories Green purchasing Plastics and packaging Re-use Reduce Sustainable solutions
CategoriesGreen purchasing Plastics and packaging Re-use Reduce Sustainable solutions

In line with Multiplex’s policy to protect the environment and the UK’s target to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042, Multiplex’s 48 Carey Street team has taken action to ban single-use plastic from the canteen and offices. The project reached that milestone on the 5th June, celebrating World Environment Day 2018 in accordance with this year’s…

Reducing Single-use Plastic Waste

Published 11 June 2018 | No comments
Written by Jessica Dowdy
Categories Plastics and packaging Reduce Water saving measures
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Reduce Water saving measures

Further to recent emphasis in the media on reducing plastic waste, we have decided to play our part by becoming one of the UK’s first reduced plastic construction sites. One of the initiatives as part of this campaign is around reducing the number of single-use plastic bottles used by our workforce and the local community. To achieve this, we have…

Route to Zero Plastics

Published 11 June 2018 | No comments
Written by Suzanne Webster
Categories Green purchasing Plastics and packaging Re-use Reduce Sustainable solutions
CategoriesGreen purchasing Plastics and packaging Re-use Reduce Sustainable solutions

At Greenwich, we are planning how we can get to zero plastics on site. Plastic waste is an epidemic issue across the world and we want to ensure our site is having as minimal impact as possible. Immediate implementation; Reusable bottles issued to all staff (these are also tetherable so not a safety risk) Integrating closed loop recycling scheme into…

Refill London

Published 29 May 2018 | No comments
Written by Ellie Hepburn
Categories Green purchasing Plastics and packaging Water saving measures
CategoriesGreen purchasing Plastics and packaging Water saving measures

On our site we have decided to do something about the amount of plastic bottles being used on site. We have registered with Refill London and promoted the downloadable app and then received a pack in the post and a refill station will be fitted outside site. They also send us stickers and information to put up to tell people…

Reducing environmental impact by using green cups

Published 9 May 2018 | No comments
Written by Dominick Gallagher
Categories Green purchasing Improvement Plastics and packaging Reduce
CategoriesGreen purchasing Improvement Plastics and packaging Reduce

Following a recent ‘See It Say It’ suggestion from a site operative, it took just a single conversation between Knight Build directors to decide to replace all existing Styrofoam cups and plastic cups on all sites and at our head office. At the drop of a hat, we have been able to stop over 200,000 Styrofoam and plastic cups a…

Say NO to Single-Use Plastic

Published 23 April 2018 | No comments
Written by Jeremy Bayliss
Categories Awareness Plastics and packaging Rivers/watercourses Workforce
CategoriesAwareness Plastics and packaging Rivers/watercourses Workforce

Did you know that by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight? As an environmentally savvy company, we pride ourselves on being green and innovative in the reduction of the carbon footprint. At Clearly Renovations, we have decided to follow the national scheme on abolishing single-use plastic bottles in our offices and on our sites. We…

Re-usable overshoes – Reducing plastic waste and improving quality

Published 2 March 2018 | No comments
Written by Debra Howarth
Categories Green purchasing Plastics and packaging Re-use
CategoriesGreen purchasing Plastics and packaging Re-use

It is estimated that the amount of plastic waste generated annually in the UK is nearly 5 million tonnes, with the UK Government challenging this in their 25 year plan for the environment and the European strategy for plastics in a circular economy. To play our part in combatting this current environmental issue, the Sisk Team on the Blossom Iron…

Hydration campaign and custom water bottles

Published 12 February 2018 | No comments
Written by Fiona Power
Categories Campaigns Plastics and packaging Weather protection Worker fatigue
CategoriesCampaigns Plastics and packaging Weather protection Worker fatigue

Costain Skanska JV Paddington C405 held a Winter Hydration Campaign led by the Project Director. Not many people consider hydration to be an issue during the winter months but in fact because of being outside in the cold weather our blood vessels constrict to prevent blood from flowing freely to the extremities allowing the body to preserve the heat in…

Hi-Viz Jacket with Drinks Bottle

Published 26 January 2018 | No comments
Written by john fryer
Categories Plastics and packaging PPE Weather protection Worker fatigue
CategoriesPlastics and packaging PPE Weather protection Worker fatigue

We have added a ‘Camelbak’ drinks bottle in the rear of the hi-viz for operatives so that they do not have to walk around the site looking for hydration. This is especially useful for traffic marshals who are on the go, who can quickly hydrate in the summer months, reducing the need for plastic bottles which are becoming a major problem…

Upcycling PPE

Published 18 December 2017 | No comments
Written by Stephen Penwill
Categories Plastics and packaging Re-use Recycle
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Re-use Recycle

Whilst clearing out the welfare changing rooms to remove used PPE from a previous subcontractor and make space for a new subcontractor, ten bin bags full of old PPE and clothing was collected, including hard hats, boots, hi-vis vests, coats and trousers. Instead of throwing the old PPE in the skip, it was upcycled for a new purpose in the…

Hard Hat Recycling Scheme

Published 29 November 2017 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Plastics and packaging PPE Recycle Sustainable solutions
CategoriesPlastics and packaging PPE Recycle Sustainable solutions

Recycling is a key way construction sites should try to minimise their impact on the environment. Sites should try to recycle as much material as possible and work with external partners if necessary. See the examples below for how one site addressed this: Hard hats are mainly made of polypropene and should be replaced for health and safety reasons every…

Plastic sheeting take back scheme

Published 21 November 2017 | No comments
Written by Gavin Thomas
Categories Plastics and packaging Recycle
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Recycle

On our site we use floor protection products from Protec who have developed a take-back scheme that collects used proplex sheets as well as other twinwall corrugated plastic sheeting of any size, thickness and colour. They then recycle these sheets, thus providing a ‘closed loop’ solution to a potential waste product. There are just a few simple ground rules on…

Compactor/ Baler to manage waste in a CO2 efficient way

Published 24 July 2017 | No comments
Written by Kathryn Weatherburn
Categories Plastics and packaging Reduce Waste Waste bins
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Reduce Waste Waste bins

There are many different drivers to reducing and eliminating waste on construction projects. A simple way of reducing waste where possible, and significantly reducing the numbers of vehicles coming to and from site from waste removal is a compactor or baler. Cardboard and plastic waste being baled not only saves space on site, but reduces costs in skips and decreases…

Re-Using Materials to Create Recyclable Desks

Published 12 May 2017 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Carbon offsetting Green purchasing Local materials Re-use Recycle
CategoriesCarbon offsetting Green purchasing Local materials Re-use Recycle

Everyone in the construction industry needs to take appropriate measures to minimise their impact on the environment. This includes recycling where possible and making efforts to reduce waste. See the examples below for how one supplier addressed this: The company supplies and installs furniture and equipment to construction site cabins. They worked with a local corrugated packaging manufacturer to reuse the…

Newton Waterproof Membrane Recycling Service

Published 12 May 2017 | No comments
Written by Daniel Billington
Categories Plastics and packaging Recycle
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Recycle

By returning HDPE membrane off-cuts from site to Newton headquarters in Tonbridge via backloads, the material is then initially processed in-house. Working closely with the UK’s largest non-profit recycling organisation RECOUP in order to set up the necessary relationships with both a plastics reprocessor and an end-manufacturer who will use the recycled material. Newton is the first waterproofing materials supplier…

Polypropylene Recycling Scheme

Published 13 March 2017 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Plastics and packaging Re-use Recycle
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Re-use Recycle

Construction projects can create a great deal of waste, which in turn harms the environment. Plastic materials are particularly difficult, but this supplier devised an innovative way of making their business more environmentally friendly. See the examples below for how the supplier achieved this: Launched a waste take back scheme which recycles polypropylene packaging into new packaging material. This reduces…

Re-used hard hats and safety boots

Published 2 February 2017 | No comments
Written by Steve Burgess
Categories Birds Plastics and packaging PPE Schools Wildlife
CategoriesBirds Plastics and packaging PPE Schools Wildlife

Pupils from local Argyle Primary School painted redundant hard hats from The Russell Hotel S&T site. These were then turned into flower baskets influenced by their curriculum in which they were studying Cubism and Georgia O’Keefe. The flowers were from Camden Garden Centre and were picked by a local retired resident and garden enthusiast. Bird feeders had also been created…

100% Recycled Products for Ducting

Published 19 December 2016 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Plastics and packaging Sustainable source
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Sustainable source

Sustainable working methods and materials can also be more effective for the job. The example below shows how one site demonstrated this: The site team proposed 100% sustainable/recycled products for ducting; This is made of cardboard made from sustainable sources with recycled plastic for strengthening and joints; It is lightweight and arrives in flat pack and consequently the whole building…

Plastic Planking on Groynes

Published 29 November 2016 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Implementation Plastics and packaging Recycle
CategoriesImplementation Plastics and packaging Recycle

Testing out experimental methods that could possible reduce environmental impact is always a good idea. At worst it will fail and the idea can be scrapped, but it could lead to a company wide innovation. The example below shows how one site achieved this: During the decade since the plastic panels were installed, there was a gradual acceptance that plastic…

Managing Fit Out Waste

Published 25 November 2016 | No comments
Written by Richard Charlesworth
Categories Plastics and packaging Recycle Reduce
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Recycle Reduce

As the Lillie Square project was evolving from superstructure and cladding towards utilising fit-out trades, the project held a ‘managing fit-out waste workshop’ with subcontractors. The purpose of the session was to help raise awareness about the importance of waste on the project and to also discuss ways in which waste could be reduced. The workshop covered a number of…

Flower Pots

Published 28 October 2016 | No comments
Written by London City Island
Categories Landscaping Planting Plastics and packaging Recycle
CategoriesLandscaping Planting Plastics and packaging Recycle

We have recycled our milk bottles and re-used them to plant flowers and make our welfare better looking. Also we have planted extra flowers in front of our cabins and made the site entrance more presentable and welcoming. By doing this we have both improved the appearance of our site to the public, visitors and workforce, as well as improving…

Shopping Bag Borrowing Scheme

Published 30 August 2016 | No comments
Written by Andrew Kinsey
Categories Plastics and packaging Re-use Workforce
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Re-use Workforce

To reduce litter, waste and use of resources, a shopping bag borrowing scheme has been set up on our BDI and Amenities project in Oxford for everyone on site to take a bag if they go out to buy lunch off-site. A typical plastic bag weighs on average of 32.5 g with about 200g of carbon dioxide produced per bag….

Community Engagement and Upcycling Ecological Opportunities

Published 7 July 2016 | No comments
Written by Jack Lawrence
Categories Planting Plastics and packaging Public
CategoriesPlanting Plastics and packaging Public

ATC invited eight members of the Salvation Army to a biodiversity engagement event as part of ‘World Climate Week’ at Plumstead railhead. The day began with a site tour, allowing our visitors to engage with our workforce and experience first-hand the workings of an operational railhead. After an informative tour delivered by ATC’s senior foreman the Salvation Army rolled up…

Spotlight on… campaign flyers

Published 22 June 2016 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Alcohol testing Apprenticeships Campaigns Communication Cycle safety Diversity Guidance Health screening Healthy lifestyle advice Illegal workers Inappropriate language Medications Mental health Occupational health risks Plastics and packaging Posters Scheme posters/banners Signage Signage
CategoriesAlcohol testing Apprenticeships Campaigns Communication Cycle safety Diversity Guidance Health screening Healthy lifestyle advice Illegal workers Inappropriate language Medications Mental health Occupational health risks Plastics and packaging Posters Scheme posters/banners Signage Signage

The Spotlight on… flyers have been designed for general display in and around site welfare facilities. The Scheme provides a collection of A5 flyers from both past and current ‘Spotlight on… ‘ awareness campaigns. Each unique flyer contains information on the industry issue and advice on how to tackle it. This resource has proven valuable for display on site and raising awareness…

Waste Management Checklist Cards

Published 23 May 2016 | No comments
Written by Andrew Kinsey
Categories Hazardous substance storage Monitoring Plan Plastics and packaging Workforce
CategoriesHazardous substance storage Monitoring Plan Plastics and packaging Workforce

To help improve compliance with the Waste “Duty of Care”, we have produced a pocket sized waste card to distribute to all operatives and supervisors involved with waste disposal on sites. This can be printed on water resistant card or laminated and acts as a quick reminder for all involved of the information needed on a waste transfer note. A publically…

Free site pallets to local shops and businesses

Published 6 April 2016 | No comments
Written by Gavin Thomas
Categories Businesses Cooperation Local shop Plastics and packaging Public Re-use
CategoriesBusinesses Cooperation Local shop Plastics and packaging Public Re-use

As part of our policy of recycling and re-using prior to skipping on sites, at the start of projects we liaise with a lot of local shops and businesses in the local area. During these conversations we explain the waste that gets generated from sites and how we go about recycling and re-using many of the products. This provides an…

Pallet Repatriation Scheme

Published 29 March 2016 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Goodwill work Plastics and packaging Re-use Recycle
CategoriesGoodwill work Plastics and packaging Re-use Recycle

The construction industry currently disposes of thousands of pallets each year via waste collection and skips. Premier Waste Services (UK) Limited have proposed a Pallet Collection service whereby, projects in the area are eligible for a free pallet collection service. Any project or construction site can take advantage of this service, no matter how big or small. All collected pallets…

Re-use of plastic off-cuts as packers for doors and windows

Published 7 March 2016 | No comments
Written by Rupert Ogilvie
Categories Plastics and packaging Re-use
CategoriesPlastics and packaging Re-use

At Structure Consulting’s £7.1 million food production facility project in Park Royal, London, waste plastic cladding trim off-cuts are utilised as an alternative to 1mm plastic packers to pack out door frames & window sills. This is contributing towards our BREEAM target score of 3 credits by optimising resource efficiency. There are several benefits to using these packers, such as: Re-use…

NetRegs e-learning tools and case study videos

Published 15 January 2016 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories E-learning Involvement Plastics and packaging Training Workforce
CategoriesE-learning Involvement Plastics and packaging Training Workforce

NetRegs is a partnership between the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). They provide free environmental guidance for small and medium-sized businesses throughout Northern Ireland and Scotland. NetRegs have also recently generated a series of e-learning tools on subjects such as: Duty of care Preventing pollution Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Renewable energy Sinks,…

Environmentally Friendly Alternatives: Portable Foundations

Published 2 November 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Plan Recycle Sustainable solutions
CategoriesPlan Recycle Sustainable solutions

Environmentally friendly working methods and alternatives should be identified and implemented.   One site has used the Jackpad system to support single story buildings. Below is an example of how the site made use of these portable foundations: Jackpads are portable foundations, suitable for most ground conditions, for modular buildings that are made from 100% recycled plastic and steel; They…

Using Bulk Paint Containers to Reduce Waste

Published 6 October 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Hazardous substance storage Plastics and packaging Reduce
CategoriesHazardous substance storage Plastics and packaging Reduce

Throughout any construction project, it is essential that contractors give careful consideration to how their work may be impacting on the natural environment. Reducing waste through re-use or recycling is vitally important. Sites should also consider other initiatives to avoid waste. Examples of how waste reduction has been achieved include: The site used a system of bulk paint containers; Paint was delivered…

Reducing Waste Plasterboard to Pellets

Published 2 June 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Carbon footprint reporting Reduce Waste
CategoriesCarbon footprint reporting Reduce Waste

Site’s should always consider ways in which they can reduce their waste and minimise carbon footprint. Targets should be set and monitored for minimising waste to landfill and avoiding any unnecessary journeys. This in turn will help to protect the environment. Below is an example of how sites have decreased the use of skips: A system was adopted which turned…

Recyclable Plastic Hoarding

Published 6 May 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Corporate badging Enclosures First Impressions campaign Initial impressions Inspection Plastics and packaging Recycle
CategoriesCorporate badging Enclosures First Impressions campaign Initial impressions Inspection Plastics and packaging Recycle

Sites should be conscious of the impact their project is having on the environment. In order to limit the negative impact, the waste produced on site should be reduced and recycled. Measures to reduce waste should be identified and implemented on site. Below is an example of how sites have achieved this, using recyclable hoardings: Hoarding was constructed using a recyclable…

World Environment Day

Published 20 April 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Awareness Campaigns Consultation Monitoring Plan Plastics and packaging Wildlife
CategoriesAwareness Campaigns Consultation Monitoring Plan Plastics and packaging Wildlife

World Environment Day (WED) is the biggest, most globally celebrated day for positive environmental action coordinated by the United Nations (UN). The first WED was held in 1974 and was created to encourage worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. Each year, the theme and host country for WED is different, with the 2019 theme being air pollution and…

Environmentally Friendly Hoarding

Published 6 March 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Enclosures Plastics and packaging Recycle
CategoriesEnclosures Plastics and packaging Recycle

The work being undertaken should have a minimal impact on the environment. Measures should be actively sought and implemented to protect and enhance the environment. Below is an example of how environmentally friendly hoarding has been used on site: The hoarding was made from recycled plastic bottles; Although this was more expensive to obtain initially, the hoarding can be reused multiple times…

Managing Waste on Site

Published 16 October 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Implementation Plastics and packaging Re-use
CategoriesImplementation Plastics and packaging Re-use

Waste management is an important environmental factor to be considered for every construction project. Materials on site should be either recycled or re-used as much as possible, to reduce waste to landfill. Reducing waste on site will benefit the environment and could also reduce costs. Examples of how many sites managed and reduced waste include: Timber waste was re-used as shuttering,…

Environmental Waste Policy

Published 16 October 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Environmental policy promoted Implementation Initial environmental assessment Notice board Plastics and packaging Policy Site environmental plan
CategoriesEnvironmental policy promoted Implementation Initial environmental assessment Notice board Plastics and packaging Policy Site environmental plan

Throughout any project, it is essential that a constructor takes a responsible attitude towards environmental issues, to ensure that their work is not having a detrimental effect on the natural environment.  They should be respectful and protecting of the environment, with the aim to enhance the natural environment for existing and future generations. Many sites have demonstrated a very high commitment to…

Close case studies

Case studies

The Scheme collaborated with various contractors, suppliers, and organisations which are leading the way on tackling plastic pollution, to produce case studies outlining their approaches to this important issue.

Contractors

Aztec explains how it is working with its supply chain to reduce packaging, reuse packaging where possible, and to supply materials with a high recycled content in efforts to achieve zero waste to landfill.  Read the case study here.
Balfour Beatty outlines how it is reducing its consumption of plastics and packaging through improved waste management and by replacing single-use plastics with sustainable alternatives. Read the case study here.
Berkeley Homes (South  East London) Ltd describes how it is tackling the issue of plastic pollution in the construction industry by reducing the volume of plastic consumed on site. Read the case study here.
Griffiths presents its annual Sustainability Challenge and Don’t Lose Your Bottle campaign to prevent the production of unsustainable plastic and packaging waste generated on its sites. Read the case study here.
Knight Build is an ambassador for the Right Waste, Right Place campaign and has introduced biodegradable cups and reusable water bottles across the company to reduce the volume of single-use plastics consumed on site. Read the case study here.
Mace is promoting its plastic reduction campaign, Time to Act across the construction industry to encourage the industry to reduce their consumption of plastics, particularly single-use plastics. Read the case study here.
Morgan Sindall has launched an internal plastic reduction campaign to reduce the volume of single-use plastics consumed on site and to encourage the use of sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging. Read the case study here.
Multiplex details how its 48 Carey Street project is striving to deliver sustainability by diverting zero waste to landfill, and is the first Multiplex site to be free of single-use plastics. Read the case study here.
Sir Robert McAlpine discusses how its Broadgate Framework and Battersea Phase Three sites are tackling plastic pollution by reducing its consumption of plastics and packaging. Read the case study here.
Skanska explains how it is striving to generate zero waste on its sites through reducing upfront demand, reusing materials where possible, recycling waste produced, and using sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging. Read the case study here.
Wates describes how the Abbey Area site is striving to protect the environment, improve sustainability, and eliminate the production of single-use plastic and packaging waste. Read the case study here.

Organisations

Crossrail Ltd outlines how it is preserving the environment by using materials with a high recycled content, using sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging, and recycling plastics and packaging where possible. Read the case study here.
Environment Agency discusses how it is collaborating with the construction industry to increase resource efficiency, maximise the value of resources consumed, and minimise the volume of waste produced. Read the case study here.

Suppliers

AMA Waste Management is working in partnership with charities ORCA and Refill to help in the fight against plastic pollution and to raise awareness of the impact of irresponsible waste disposal on the environment. Read the case study here.
Astins explains how it has replaced mastic packaging with foil tubes to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste and the volume of packaging waste produced on site. Read the case study here.
Crown Paints has become the first paint manufacturer in the UK to launch paint containers made from 100% recycled post-consumer waste (PCW) plastic, potentially saving tonnes of PCW plastic from unnecessarily ending up in landfill. Read the case study here
Enva outlines how it is helping the construction industry to reduce, re-use and recycle its plastic and packaging waste to help preserve the environment and local ecosystems. Read the case study here.
Newton Waterproofing presents its Newton Membrane Recycling Service, a closed loop recycling scheme which aims to improve sustainability and address the issue of plastic pollution in construction. Read the case study here.
Protec is helping the construction industry to recycle plastic sheeting via its Proplex Closed Loop Recycling Scheme. Hereby, plastic sheeting is collected, recycled, and reused, ensuring a post-consumer product is made. Read the case study here.
Ward is assisting the construction industry in the recycling of plastics by collecting various forms of used plastics as a separate waste stream to create new plastics and packaging materials for reuse. Read the case study here.
Yes Recycling is a plastic recycling company which is helping the construction industry to become more sustainable by recycling its used hard hats via the company’s National Hard Hat Recycling Scheme. Read the case study here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close law and legislation

Law and legislation

Preserving the environment is a central part of UK environmental law. The following legislation establishes policies and regulations in place to reduce plastic and packaging waste and consumption.

The Control of Pollution Act (1974)

Under this Act, it is a criminal offence for any individual or organisation to cause or to permit the deposit of waste on any land or form of natural environment.

The Environment Act (1995)

This Act imposes a Duty of Care on all organisations to ensure that any waste produced is handled efficiently to reduce reliance on landfill as a disposal option.

The Landfill Tax Regulations (1996)

Under these regulations, a landfill tax was introduced at which the current rate stands at £88.95 per tonne.

The regulations aim to encourage organisations to produce less waste, dispose of less waste, and recover value from the waste produced.

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations (2007)

These regulations were introduced to reduce the amount of packaging waste disposed of to landfill. The regulations affect any organisation with a turnover exceeding £2 million and handles more than 50 tonnes of packaging waste each year.

The organisation must complete an annual submission detailing the volume and type of packaging handled, and how much packaging has been recovered or recycled.

In 2019, the regulations will be updated to increase the responsibility of manufacturers and suppliers to reduce packaging waste.

The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations (2011)

Under these regulations, it is a legal requirement for organisations to implement the waste hierarchy.

The waste hierarchy gives priority to waste prevention, followed by reuse, recycling, and other forms of recovery, and last of all, landfill disposal.

EU Legislation (2018)

In January 2018, the EU released the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. The strategy strives to protect the environment from plastic pollution and to transform the way plastic products are designed, produced, used, and recycled in the EU. Under this strategy, all plastic packaging on the EU market will be made recyclable by 2050, the consumption of single-use plastics will be reduced, and the intentional use of microplastics will be restricted.

In October 2018, the European Parliament voted for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastics. While in January 2019, the EU proposed a ban on 90% of intentionally added microplastics in products to prevent an estimated 400,000 tonnes of plastic pollution.

All existing EU legislation will be retained in the UK via the European Union (Withdrawal) Act (2018).

October Budget (2018)

In October 2018, the UK government pledged to tax all plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled plastic. This tax will come into effect from April 2022.

 

 

Close External resources

External resources

There are a number of organisations and resources available to help the construction industry understand the environmental risks associated with plastics and packaging.

Organisations

  • The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) is a cross sector organisation that champions the use of sustainable materials in the construction industry.
  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a charity that encourages industries to implement circular economy principles. The foundation launched the New Plastics Economy to bring together stakeholders to rethink and redesign plastics.
  • Environment Agency is a Client Partner with the Scheme and provides standards, regulations and information for companies to help them protect the environment and work towards sustainable development.
  • Envirowise is a company which aims to improve resource efficiency in businesses and help them reduce costs and the environmental impact arising from resource use and waste generation.
  • Environment Services Association (ESA) is an organisation that is working to transform waste and resource management in the UK.
  • FIDRA is an environmental charity working to reduce plastic waste and chemical pollution in our seas, on our beaches and in the wider environment.
  • Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) is an alliance of environment and sustainability professionals which provide resources and information on how to preserve the environment.
  • Keep Britain Tidy is a charity that strives to reduce litter, improve local areas, and prevent waste.
  • Less Plastic is a campaign which offers advice and practical solutions for refusing and reducing single-use plastics.
  • London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) is a statutory framework that brings together London’s waste stakeholders to reduce the production of waste and to increase the proportion of waste that is reused and recycled.
  • NetRegs is a partnership that provides environmental guidance to small and medium sized businesses throughout Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • Ocean Change Markers Toolkit is a collection of resources to empower industries, individuals and communities to combat plastic pollution globally and locally.
  • Plastic Oceans is a charity that seeks to raise awareness of the environmental risks associated with single-use plastics.
  • Plastic Patrol is a nationwide charity to rid inland waterways of plastic pollution. Businesses and individuals are encouraged to participate in plastic clean-up events to help protect the environment.
  • Recycle Now is a national recycling campaign that offers guidance on how to reuse, recycle, and dispose of waste.
  • Right Waste, Right Place is a Scheme Supporter and a campaign to help businesses and establishments to meet their Duty of Care regulations.
  • Society for the Environment (SocEnv) is an organisation that supports the preservation of the environment. The organisation supported the #PledgeLessPlastic campaign to raise awareness of the environmental risks associated with single-use plastics.
  • The Ocean Clean Up is a non-profit organisation developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastics.
  • The Prince’s Responsible Business Network is a business-led organisation which has launched the Waste to Wealth programme in efforts to eliminate avoidable waste and to improve resource efficiency.
  • Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is a charity that works in collaboration with the UK government, businesses, and communities, to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency. WRAP has launched the UK Plastics Pact to help eliminate single-use plastics and packaging.
  • World Environment Day is the United Nation’s campaign for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.

What is the industry doing?

  • Association for the Environment Conscious Building (AECB) is a network of individuals and businesses within the construction industry with the aim of promoting sustainable building and the recycling and reuse of plastics and packaging.
  • Breaking the Plastic Habit is an initiative introduced by Canary Wharf Group to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics across the Canary Wharf district.
  • Building Research Establishment (BRE) is an organisation that creates the products, standards, and qualifications, to ensure the construction industry becomes more sustainable.
  • Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) is a Scheme Supporter which is working closely with a range of industry stakeholders, including Build UK, Environment Agency, CIRIA and DEFRA to tackle environmental issues in the civil engineering sector.
  • Construction Industry Publications (CIP) is a Scheme Supporter and an online resource that provides the industry with resources and information to improve their understanding of environmental issues, such as waste and plastic pollution.
  • Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) is a not-for-profit organisation supporting the construction industry in reducing waste and improving resource efficiency.
  • Futurebuild is a Professional Partner with the Scheme and holds an annual conference which includes a Waste Zone to teach the industry about the circular economy and how it can become sustainable.
  • Green Construction Board (GCB) is the sustainability workstream of the Construction Leadership Council. The board offers guidance for increasing resource efficiency and reducing waste in the sector through circular economy principles.
  • Greenspec is an organisation that helps to drive the industry towards sustainable forms of construction and encourages the use of alternative materials to plastics and packaging.
  • Institute for Sustainable Construction (ISC) is an organisation that is working with key construction industry professionals to improve the sustainability of the industry.
  • The Green Register is a charity that educates the industry on how it can use sustainable materials and reduce its consumption of plastics and packaging.
  • Smart Waste is an online tool developed by BRE to help construction and demolition sites save time and money, whilst improving environmental performance.
  • Supply Chain Sustainability School is a Scheme Supporter and provides the industry with practical advice, including how the industry can reduce waste, recycle, and improve resource efficiency.
  • UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) is an organisation that aims to improve the sustainability and waste management of the construction industry.

 

Other Spotlight on... campaigns