In this article Ann Boardman, Head of Marketing & Product Management for Saniflo UK, explains why it’s so important for the construction industry, and particularly the bathroom and kitchen sector, to be prepared for the recycling revolution.
It was as a result of the two World Wars that we Brits became adepts at reusing and recycling when there was a shortage of everyday products and food. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that recycling became more commonplace and even incentivized. Remember how drinks companies gave money back for returning glass bottles? Recycling glass bottles was a source of income for many charities and a source of additional revenue for children keen to boost their pocket money. Then came the bottle bank in 1977.
Throughout the years since the industrial revolution, the British government had passed laws in an attempt to control pollution, but it wasn’t until 2001 when then Prime Minister Tony Blair pushed ahead with the EU’s End of Life Vehicles Directive, forcing car manufacturers to take responsibility for some of the costs of recycling new cars.
Then in 2003 the Household Waste Recycling Act was passed requiring local authorities in England to provide every household with a separate collection of at least two types of recyclable materials by 2010.
And now we have the EU’s pledge to make landfill a thing of the past with its deadline of 2030 for restricting the amount of waste that can go to landfill as no more than 10%. The construction industry, and particularly the bathroom and kitchen sector, will be affected massively and it’s important to be prepared.
The bathroom and kitchen sector will be greatly impacted due to the use of floor and wall tiles. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are notoriously difficult to recycle and few offer this service. And when we consider that in the case of a bathroom, for example, a tiler will measure the square metres required and he’ll order an extra 10% to account for waste, cuts and breakages, the waste adds up. The problem is that the tile waste is usually dumped, as tiles cannot be reused for anything other than hard core. So, if a tiled bathroom or kitchen is refurbished or retiled, often the old tiles are removed and once again dumped, as they cannot be recycled.
So just how can we minimise this problem and create less waste for landfill long-term? Opting for glass as a replacement for tiles where possible is the best solution. Glass wall panels and splashbacks can be used in bathrooms and kitchens. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity. Plus glass wall panels and splashbacks are quicker and easier to fit and much easier for the end user to maintain, clean and keep looking pristine.
When it comes to showering, shower cubicles offer a great alternative to shower enclosures that require tiles and grouting. More industry professionals are switching on to the numerous benefits of shower cubicles, recognising for one, that shower cubicles with glass panels and doors offer a great environmentally-friendly bathroom solution.
In most cases it’s possible to have a new shower cubicle up and running in less than a day and many shower cubicles fit into the exact space where an old bath was. Shower cubicles are easy and swift to fit. The glass panels and doors simply slot into the frame, completely eliminating the need to remove and/or replace old tiles and grout.
Not only do shower cubicles offer a more environmentally-friendly solution, but fitting a shower cubicle also saves time, money, hassle and waste. Another massive bonus is that, unlike tiles and grout, shower cubicles are leak-free and require minimal maintenance long-term. And for the end user, a shower cubicle is much easier to look after than tiles and grout, especially shower cubicles that feature Cristal Plus coating for a longlasting clean sheen.
In addition, shower cubicles are packaged in recyclable cardboard and on wood pallets from sustainable sources, making the whole cycle as sustainable as possible.
So next time you’re deciding on options for a new bathroom, think about glass wall panels, glass splashbacks and shower cubicles with glass panels and doors and you’ll be on your way to reducing what you have to send to landfill.