With landfill tax steadily increasing year-on-year and the Government’s intention to introduce a plastic packaging tax, developers need to encourage new ways to reduce on-site waste. Here, Andy Cummins, Senior Product Manager at Geocel, looks at the cost and environmental benefits of switching sealant and adhesive products.
In a recent Considerate Constructors Scheme survey, 95% of respondents agreed that the construction industry needs to make a change in terms of its consumption of plastics and packaging, with 81% suggesting that the industry is currently not doing enough. As it stands, the sector consumes 23% of all UK produced plastic and is responsible for sending 50,000 tonnes of it to landfill every year.
As non-hazardous landfill capacity in England has diminished, landfill costs are on the rise, more than tripling since 2008. Furthermore, as of April 2022, a new tax will be introduced, designed to hit companies that produce or import plastic packaging with insufficient recycled content. As a result, the cost of production of plastic packaged products is likely to increase too. Ultimately, all these costs will be passed along to the developer.
Therefore, it is imperative to discourage the use of plastic products and reduce the impact of your development. One simple and effective change is to ensure your trade professionals switch from using traditional sealant and adhesive cartridge systems during the construction process.
This is because it is impossible to completely clear traditional cartridges of residue, and as such they are classed as ‘contaminated’ waste and cannot be recycled. Subsequently 100 million of these plastic cartridges are sent to landfill every year. That is a staggering number and one that can absolutely be reduced with the buy in of developers and their trades.
Reduce plastic waste
Companies like Geocel have offered a solution to help. This involves replacing the disposable cartridge with a reusable plastic sleeve and foil alternative. Known as the ecoSEAL system, users simply have to cut the foil, insert it into the sleeve, attach the nozzle and then apply with any standard gun as normal. As such, using the system requires little effort, but will contribute significantly to a reduction in plastic waste. The sleeve can be reused 75 times before it is finally recycled, whilst the used foils are eight times lighter than traditional cartridges.
With popular products such as Geocel’s Painters Mate, THE WORKS PRO and DOWSIL™ 785+, 796 and 799 aluminium foils, developers can rest assured that quality is not compromised and the standard of finish is always maintained.
To try the system for free, Geocel has recently launched the ecoSEAL Challenge. Participants will be asked to select their choice of a sealant or adhesive from the available options, which they will get sent alongside a reusable ecoSEAL sleeve – completely free of charge.