I’m sure one of many New Years resolutions for a lot of our companies will be to try and be more environmentally friendly. And it’s a good resolution to keep. Skip costs continue to rise as landfill tax does, and we all have to be more focused on the way we conduct business and what sort of carbon footprint we leave. So as we ended 2013 and I saw the last of the years frames being delivered, I was thinking what more we could do as an industry to help out.
I know a lot of manufacturers do more these days. Eurocell have their flagship recycling centre for example, and there are many post-consumer waste recycling companies that deal with old frames of all material types. But what about the ancillary products? Whilst a lot of good attention is paid towards frames, other parts of the fenestration product gets missed. One thing in particular I was looking at was all the protective tape that covers the frames.
We use so much of it. I have no idea how much the industry uses in protective tape every year but it must run into the hundreds of miles, if not more. When I look at our fitters taking it off, they can only put it in their bins while onsite and then into the skip. What a waste. But what if that tape were to become bio-degradable tape instead? The product is already out there. A quick Google search pointed me to plenty of places where bio-degradable plastic sheeting was available. All it would take would be for systems companies to investigate how easy it would be to get their protective tapes made of that same stuff.
For most installers, whether big or small, bio-degradable tape would be fairly easy to get rid of in an environmentally manner, so shouldn’t incur costs. But bio-degradable materials could stretch beyond just the tape. Things like installer’s dust sheets can be made of the same stuff, rather than big bulky fabric ones. Glass pads to separate glass units could use it. The wrapping used to vacuum form composite doors could also be made of bio-degradable plastic. These are just a few, but there could be endless possibilities and could make a significant difference to the carbon footprints of many companies.
Any other ideas for ways to improve the green credentials of the industry? Leave them in the comments section below.