World Environment Day: Plastic in Construction

World Environment Day

Today is World Environment Day. An annual event led by the United Nations which aims to bring attention to adverse issues affecting our environment and to encourage sustainable solutions. This year, the chosen theme for World Environment Day is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ with the motto being “If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.” It is a call for individuals, companies and industries to take charge of their surroundings and to appreciate the harmful ramifications plastic can have.


Plastic, a man-made material, has permeated into all aspects of our lives which includes cooking, product design and engineering due to it’s durability. Worryingly though, studies have shown that nearly all plastic ever created still exists today in some form and that all drinking water contains plastic particles. In turn plastic has polluted our land and oceans damaging Martine species and threatens human health and this is why it has been selected as the theme for World Environment Day.


Plastic Bottles


Plastic in Construction

Plastics are used in a wide variety of ways in the Construction Industry. It is a cost-effective, strong, lightweight material which can stand the test of time and can be used in multiple ways. It is therefore no surprise that in Britain the Construction Sector is the second largest user of plastic after packaging. However, if we are going to get involved in this years World Environment day’s agenda and reduce plastic pollution then construction needs to think and act differently.


Below are three ways in which construction companies can reduce their use and waste of plastics and help clean up our environment.


1.    Recycle

The simplest way to help plastic pollution is to recycle. Set up a protocol on-site and educate your workers on the importance of recycling and the adverse effects plastics can have on the environment.


2.   Use Alternative or Recycled Plastic

Technology and innovation is at an exciting point and is making seemingly impossible things possible. For example, the Plastic Road Project in Melbourne. A project whereby a 300 meter stretch of road is being made from 200,000 plastic bags, packaging and 63,000 glass bottles (If you want to find out more about this initiative then click here).


3.  Better Project Management and Employee Training

A simple way to reduce plastic waste on-site is through better project management. Ensure that all projects no matter how big or small are planned effectively with all details being accounted for. This will help with the ordering of materials and ensuring that plastics are not being overordered. Also ensure your workers are well trained and understand the task they are doing. This will hopefully reduce mistakes and avoid the need to start the job again which will require using more materials.


Esteem Ltd can help you with this as we are focused on developing Construction Site Supervisors and Managers and equipping these individuals with great project management skills to help them succeed in their role. During our developmental programmes which lead to SVQ or NVQ qualifications in construction we discuss and explore suitable procedures for planning, implementing and monitoring projects.


If you would like to find out more about our developmental programmes then please contact Andy on 07766 658083 or send an email to


It is time do our part for the environment and to help reduce plastic pollution.  Remember – if you can’t reuse it, refuse it.