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“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." 

- Albert Einstein

The Plastic Problem of the Construction Industry

Updated: Apr 29, 2020

Ben Dolbear delves into the history of single-use plastics within construction, and how one Merseyside builder plans to overcome the sector's reliance on the synthetic compound.

Photo by Chormatograp


This year, builders across the United Kingdom will contribute 50,000 tonnes of plastic waste to the environment, much of which will end up in our oceans. But Neal Maxwell has an ambitious plan to get this figure down to zero by 2040.


There have been impressive improvements on the recycling front in construction over the past few decades thanks to considerable efforts by industry leaders to improve sustainability but despite this, more than 40% of plastic waste from UK construction continues to be sent to landfill and creating thousands of tonnes of plastic waste that will not decompose for over 1000 years, causing hazardous threats to natural wildlife and the atmosphere.


According to UK Construction Online, the four biggest contributors to plastic waste in the industry by far are: plastic packaging, unused materials from over-ordering and off-cuts, improper storage and handling, and workforce food packaging and utensils.