‘Breakthrough’ report looks to tackle packaging waste concerns in the built environment

THE Supply Chain Sustainability School has released its report focused on ‘Packaging Optimisation in the Housebuilding Sector’, which addresses the issue of packaging waste and provides ‘practical solutions’ for reducing its impact. 

Packaging waste is said to have emerged as a ‘significant challenge’ within the built environment industry, contributing to economic and environmental concerns. This report addresses these challenges and whilst focusing on the housebuilding sector, its insights are relevant for the wider construction sector.  

Ten School partners have collaborated to co-fund the project, with a total of over 30 organisations joining forces to make this report possible. It encompasses real-world, actionable examples of packaging optimisation, including source elimination, reuse strategies, and optimal recycling conditions. It also covers various packaging types. 

The report sheds light on the policy challenges that organisations dealing with significant packaging volumes are likely to encounter. It addresses concerns such as the Plastic Packaging Tax and Extended Producer Responsibility, providing insights for navigating regulatory landscapes. 

Matt Nichols, regional director at Reconomy and chair of the School’s waste and resource use leadership group, said, “Packaging and the waste created by its treatment remains a major contributor to cost and carbon across the entire built environment. Our housebuilding sector is not alone in experiencing major challenges to address this problem, so this opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in the industry whilst drawing upon insights from so many expert stakeholders within the School partnership could not be missed.

“This project report contains content applicable not just for Housebuilding, but for anyone interested in optimising and reducing the endless flow of packaging arriving at project sites every day. I cannot recommend it enough.”

Mark Turner, waste and resource management lead for the Supply Chain Sustainability School, added, “This has been a brilliant opportunity to help deliver our School mission to enable a sustainable built environment through knowledge and collaboration. We have worked closely alongside four of the UK’s largest housebuilders and in total over 30 leading organisations within the built environment to produce this report.

“Insights from the housebuilders, their suppliers, product manufacturers, along with waste management and policy experts have provided a window into the opportunities for packaging optimisation. Most crucially, all of these organisations have entered into the spirit of open collaboration, providing solutions and practical examples for others to follow. We can only thank them.”

You can read the full report here.