Plastics in Construction - Issues, Impacts and Alternatives | Thermafleece

Plastics in Construction - Issues, Impacts and Alternatives

16th January 2019

‘Plastics in Construction - Issues, Impacts and Alternatives’ the theme for ASBP Healthy Buildings Conference and Expo 2019

Leading researchers, activists and industry speakers have been announced for the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products’ third annual conference to be held on 28th February 2019 at London South Bank University.

LONDON, UK, January 2019 - Human health and planetary health are by very definition inter-related, we can’t have one without the other. Since the BBC’s Blue Planet II, the UK has woken up to the problem of plastic in the environment, with some commentators even suggesting that plastic is a greater threat to the planet than climate change. Anti-plastic has rapidly become a popular cause-celebre championed by all mainstream media. So, how should the built environment industry respond? Is the problem limited to single use packaging or are all plastic products a problem to which we must find alternatives?

“The construction industry is the second largest user of plastic, with 20% of plastic waste coming from the construction sector”, said Simon Corbey, Associate Director of ASBP. “It is estimated we produce globally 300MT of plastic annually with 50% of this being single use. Piping and conduit are the largest users of polymers in construction and consume 35% of production”.

Following the announcement of the keynote speakers - environmentalist & yachtswoman Emily Penn, a leading advocate for reducing plastic pollution in our oceans; and Professor Sean Smith, Director of Sustainable Construction at Edinburgh Napier University, a number of exciting speakers have now been confirmed including:

  • Professor Stephen Holgate CBE - Medical Research Council Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology and special adviser on air quality to the Royal College of Physicians
  • Dr. Stephanie Wright - Research Fellow, King's College London
  • Martin Gettings - Group Head of Sustainability, Canary Wharf Group PLC
  • Professor Anna Stec - Professor in Fire Chemistry & Toxicity, University of Central Lancashire
  • Dr. John Williams - Technical Director, BBIA
  • Kris Karslake - Sustainability Manager, BAM Construct UK
  • Ben Humphries - Director, Architype
  • Scott Pearce - Operational Policy and Development, Kent Fire and Rescue Service

The conference will bring together expert thinkers and doers to focus on the thorny challenge of plastic. As usual for an ASBP event, a holistic view will be taken by exploring the impacts of plastic products on both the health of people, and the planet.

 “ASBP is not advocating a ‘plastic-free’ built environment. We are a material agnostic organisation who champions optimum outcomes for sustainability,” said Gary Newman, Executive Chair of ASBP. “However, we do advocate an approach that wherever possible the use of plastic products in construction should be confined to specialist high value, low volume application areas.”

The expo will feature 20 leading product manufacturers, charities, academic institutions, air testing specialists and more.
For more information visit

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