LIGHTING & ELECTRICS
Paul Hetherington, CEO, Marshall-Tuffl ex, explains the company’s campaign to demand higher recycled
PVC levels in cable management specifi cations.
Reduce, reuse, recycle are buzz words that
the construction industry has become
accustomed to hearing and for good
reason, when you consider that it is
the UK’s largest user of natural resources and its
largest producer of waste.
Government initiatives have raised the
bar and much has been done on the ground
by construction fi rms seeing the fi nancial
and social benefi ts of reducing and recycling
building materials. But undoubtedly there is
much more to be done to cut the 120 million
tonnes of waste (almost 60% of the national
total) generated annually from construction,
demolition and excavation.
This fi gure represents a huge variety of
materials (bricks, concrete, wood, metal etc)
but plastic is rarely one of the top fi ve (or even
BUILDING PRODUCTS | JUNE 8
10) named constituents unless reference is
being made to packaging. And that’s what we, at
Marshall-Tuffl ex, are aiming to address through a
drive to encourage all PVC-U cable management
specifi cations and installations to state a
minimum of 50% recycled content.
It’s a bold move that requires the buy-in of
the entire supply chain from specifi ers to main
contractors, electrical contractors and the wholesale
network but we believe the time is right to discuss
the importance of recycling construction plastics
in order to reduce the use of natural resources and
prevent waste going to landfi ll.
In essence, it’s about making more informed
decisions when specifying or purchasing PVC-U
cable management systems. We recognise it is a
relatively small part of most construction projects
but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered
in resource effi ciency discussions. Small changes
to projects can have big impacts – our efforts
alone divert almost 4,000 tonnes of postindustrial
plastic waste from landfi ll annually and
we are passionate in our drive to encourage the
use of products that are recycled and recyclable.
Marshall-Tuffl ex’s 50% recycled initiative also
sits well beside the current drive to eliminate
single use consumer plastic items such as straws
and cups and is in-tune with WRAP’s UK Plastics
Pact to create a sustainable system for plastic
packaging. “We need to move away from a linear
plastics economy where we take, make and
dispose of plastic, and towards a circular system
where we keep plastic in the economy and out of
the natural environment,” says WRAP.