Since the BBC’s Blue Planet II, the UK has woken up to the problem of plastic in the environment, with some commentators even suggesting that plastic is a greater threat to the planet than climate change. Anti-plastic has rapidly become a popular cause-celebre championed by all mainstream media. So, how should the built environment industry respond? The ASBP´s conference will bring together expert thinkers and doers to focus on the thorny challenge of plastic. ASBP will take a holistic view by exploring the impacts of plastic products on the health of people, and the planet.
The impacts and implications of our use of plastic in construction are just beginning to be understood. These impacts span across the whole life cycle from extraction, manufacturing, to toxicity and continue through to end of life. The construction industry is the second largest user of plastic, with 20% of plastic waste coming from the construction sector. It is estimated we produce globally 300MT of plastic annually with 50% of this being single use. Piping and conduit are the largest users of polymers in construction and consume 35% of production.
ASBP is not advocating a "plastic-free" built environment. We are a material agnostic organisation who champions optimum outcomes for sustainability. However, ASBP advocates an approach that wherever possible the use of plastic products in construction should be confined to specialist high value, low volume application areas such as binders, seals, tapes, gaskets and services.
Product Innovation Award
In this year ASBP announces a Product Innovation Award which will reward an innovative product showcased within the awards submissions. The award is supported by the ecolabel and association natureplus, of which ASBP is the UK representative. The winning product manufacturer will be announced at the conference and the prize includes the natureplus certification assessment. The award will be presented by natureplus managing director Thomas Schmitz.
The ASBP’s third Healthy Buildings Conference and Expo takes place on February 28th 2019 at London South Bank University.