Why plastics in construction?
In recent years, awareness of the negative impacts of plastic waste and pollution on our environment has heightened. Popular television documentaries, such as the BBC’s Blue Planet II, and mainstream media campaigns have played a significant role in bringing these issues to the forefront of the public’s consciousness.
The focus of this has largely been on single-use plastics from consumer products and packaging. There has been relatively little attention on the use of plastics in construction, both from a short and long-life perspective.
The sector’s use of plastic continues to grow, but there is still much to learn about plastics in construction, such as the volumes and types of plastic used, their applications, lifespans, and how they are managed at end of life.
About the Reducing Plastics in Construction Group
Launched in April 2019, the ASBP Reducing Plastics in Construction Group is a cross-sector membership group, bringing together stakeholders from across the construction value chain to learn collaboratively and address plastics in construction issues, both in products and packaging.
The ASBP’s 3rd annual Healthy Buildings Conference and Expo sought to explore the issues and impacts of plastic waste and pollution on our planet, and identify possible solutions and alternatives to help tackle the over-use of plastics within the construction industry.
The group does not seek to advocate a completely ‘plastic-free’ built environment. We recognise that plastics have useful applications within the construction industry but have become over-used. We support a reduction in the unnecessary use of plastics and encourage the development and adoption of suitable alternative materials.
Introductory guide – The issues and challenges – what we already know, who’s doing what and identify any gaps in knowledge. The solutions – policy and business drivers, forward-thinking initiatives and innovation.
Stakeholder and activities mapping exercise – Open source online map of initiatives and information sources.
Seminars and exhibitions – Find out more about the group and speak to our members. The group most recently presented at the London Build exhibition in November 2019.
Innovation Pitch Series – A chance for innovators to pitch their solutions and alternatives to our members and partners.
Site visits – Gain an appreciation of plastic usage first hand from site visits to manufacturing plants and construction sites.
Pilot projects – Trial possible solutions and innovative alternatives.
The group meets quarterly, and currently online. If you’re interested in attending, please contact Richard Broad at email@example.com.
The group is a collaborative learning network open to organisations (both ASBP members and non-members) who are interested in the topic of plastics in construction.
Those from all parts of the value chain are welcome (clients, designers, contractors, product suppliers and manufacturers, industry bodies etc.).
Contact Richard Broad at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Featured guidance - Plastics in Construction: Introductory Q&A Guide
Featured tool - ASBP Interactive House
The aim of this tool is to provide a directory of ASBP members who manufacture or supply products for certain applications, and provide products that are alternatives to plastic, or have less plastic content.
The tool acts as a directory and signposts its users to help them make more sustainable choices.
Featured tool - Stakeholders and Activities Map
We seek to foster collaboration with the Reducing Plastics in Construction group members, amongst the wider ASBP membership and with other organisations working in the space – we don’t want to “reinvent the wheel”.
By signposting the important work being carried out in this field, we hope this will reduce repetition of work and help stimulate collaboration between stakeholders.
The purpose of the map is to allow stakeholders (built environment professionals, researchers, consumers and others) to discover useful connections, initiatives, reports, policies, research projects and more.
Register for an upcoming event
ASBP hosts regular online events, including short introductory webinars, bespoke tutorials and in-depth masterclasses.