Sustainability is about much more than recycling – it’s about ensuring that we are considering the environment in all aspects of our lives, including the homes we live in.

Plastics have a huge role to play in sustainable construction, whether it be PVC windows, plastic foam insulation or plastic water and utilities pipes.

Here are some of the ways plastics contribute to sustainable construction…

1. Plastics foams provide excellent insulative properties and are very cost effective. If all buildings in Europe were to the optimal standards it would save 460 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

2. The use of EPS, PU or melamine formaldehyde foam insulation saves energy. 1kg oil used to make EPS will save the equivalent of 75 kg oil for heating over 25 years of a building’s life.

3. Plastics pipes use less energy to produce than concrete or iron and since lightweight they save on transport costs and emissions in the building industry. Additionally, the replacement of Victorian pipes in London, with new plastic pipes, reduces leaks and saves significant amounts of water with consequent savings in the energy required to process and pump the water.