The National Audit Office (NAO) released its 'Packaging Recycling Obligations' report back in July this year. The report revealed that an estimated 11 million tonnes of packaging was used by UK households and businesses throughout the duration of 2017¹ and, although there has been much publicity surrounding the issue of waste – particularly plastic – if measures are not adequately put in place, this figure is only going to rise. Back in 2017, national treasure, Sir David Attenborough, opened the nation's eyes to the consequences of our ignorance towards plastic waste when he hit our screens in Blue Planet II. The UK's prized programme unveiled just how the insensibility of man has ravaged marine life in a laid-bare episode that pulled on the heartstrings of not only the nation – but the globe. Attenborough's marine pollution series has been cited by many within the construction chain I have met in recent years and, as a result, many manufacturers, suppliers and practices are taking the humane steps forward to do their bit to save our planet's resources and ameliorate the globe's attitude to waste and pollution.
Consequently, many manufacturers have taken a good look in the mirror and scrutinised their own packaging processes, placing sustainability front of mind. In this issue, Dr Bill Price from Tarmac's cement business takes an appropriate route to diminish waste on site in his 'Taking Steps on Reducing Cement Waste' article. Price not only highlights the environmental benefits of reducing cement waste, but also explains how it can benefit a company's bottom line. From product choice through to packaging and handling, Price offers a three-point explanation on how you can reduce excess cement material on your current and future projects. Turn to page 30 for Price's sustainably-minded account.
Falling back to our point of issue, Zip Water tackles the matter of plastic waste in the workplace. Tracey Bamber, Managing Director of Zip Water, discusses the role of drinking water in office buildings and touches on sustainability credentials. Here, Bamber explains that, while it is a legal requirement that businesses keep their staff hydrated, there are options on the market that look beyond the plastic-producing commonplace office water cooler. Read up on her advice on eradicating single-use plastic from the workplace on page 36.