Its safe to say that the recent Blue Planet 2 series shown by the BBC opened our eyes to some of the incredible natural wonders of the planet we live in, and the damage we are causing with our ‘throw away’ attitude and plastic pollution. The Guardian reported that humans have produced 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic since the 1950s with the majority ending up in landfill or oceans. It was also reported by the Blue Planet 2 film crew that in the 5 years of creating the series there was rarely a dive that plastic pollution wasn’t evident. Clearly, things must change, and everyone can do their bit.
With SureSet’s ISO 14001 accreditations and commitment to being as eco-friendly as we can be, we are always looking for ways to improve our processes to minimise waste, with one of our biggest non-reusable items being our resin tubs. Plastic tubs and our use for them have a negative impact on the environment by their production methods, by way of transportation to our premises and then onto sites. Haulage is a major user of energy and burns most of the world’s petroleum. This creates air pollution, including nitrous oxides and particulates, and is a significant contributor to global warming through emission of carbon dioxide.
Another issue we face is with the disposal of the tubs once we have mixed our resin. Although our resin is harmless once cured and will have no adverse effects on nature and the environment, once the tubs are used we cannot simply recycle them, we pay to get them taken away as commercial waste to be disposed of.
This issue has been one of our priorities for a number of years and many ideas have been passed around and tested for viability. In early 2017 we had a eureka moment and we discussed the possibility of creating a vehicle to transport the resins to site in bulk where we could then dispense and mix in situ, thus almost eliminating the tubs from our process.
Our technical development team worked hard throughout the year to source suitable products to make this vision a reality, and in September of last year, the project came together.
The van can transport enough resin to install 400m², which is more than enough to cover most residential projects we install.
Over the course of a year this could save the company in the region of £25,000, and although this doesn’t completely solve the problem it has allowed our installation team to significantly reduce their waste. Having proved a huge success we look to implement the vehicles on a larger scale in the future.
Although this doesn’t completely resolve waste within the entire resin bound industry, it has enabled our own installation team to significantly reduce plastic waste during SureSet installations as well as increase our productivity. We aim to implement the technology on a larger scale in the future.