recycled material, Tobermore has decreased waste and reduced their packaging-related carbon footprint by 20%. The sustainable packaging has been rolled out throughout stocking merchants and building sites nationwide.

David Henderson, managing director of Tobermore says: “We are proud to have invested in more sustainable packaging. Tobermore recognises the global challenge of packaging waste and consequently the need for a new plastic economy. To ensure we can retain the benefits of plastic, we had to rethink how we produce, use and re-use it.” “As a responsible manufacturer, Tobermore is committed to safeguarding future resources, reducing waste and saving energy. We have a responsibility to make sure that we keep plastic within a circular economy and out of our natural environment. We feel good about using packaging which is better for our planet and urge our industry peers to rethink their packaging also.”

Workable solutions

Cement manufacturer Tarmac has moved to 50% recycled plastic in its packaging with the roll out of new all-weather, fully recyclable hybrid bags.

Products made at the company’s cement plant packaging facilities in Scotland and Wales are all now in production with the new bag, which continues to offer rip, tear and puncture resistance, as well as providing essential protection against rain and water damage. Other sites currently producing a 30 per cent recycled content bag are due to switch to the latest packaging in the coming months. Tarmac’s new packaging also features

clearer recycling labelling and information to encourage customers to ‘empty, rinse, recycle’ and dispose of the packaging responsibly. The business estimates that the roll out across all bagged cement products will result in millions of bags switching to its newer, more sustainable solutions.

Gareth Osborne, senior marketing manager in Tarmac’s Cement and Lime business, says: “Our Blue Circle products have a proud history of innovation and we’re excited to launch these new eco bags which are a significant step in our sustainability journey, at the same time as providing the weatherproof and robust packaging that our customers want and need.”

Meanwhile, Hanson Cement has developed a new bag for its premium Multicem cement that considerably reduces the product’s overall impact on the environment, helping both the company and its merchant stockist to bolster their sustainability credentials. This packaging is weather resistant, rather than waterproof, and becasue it is shrink-wrapped, it can be stored outside covered for six months or uncovered up to two weeks. Another benefit is that, due to the packaging method, the Tough bag paper bag can be filled around four times as quickly as a plastic bag, making it a more efficient product to make and, because there are 56 bags to a pallet, to deliver too.

Merchants, too, have realised the importance of reducing plastics. Wolseley Plumb & Parts has a goal of eliminating single-use plastics in all areas of the business. While recognising that this is a challenge, the specialist heating and plumbing merchant has


already begun transitioning current processes to accommodate the plastic-free initiative. In all Wolseley Plumb & Parts branches, installers will be offered products in cardboard boxes and paper bags where possible, not only reducing the dependency on plastic but also allowing customers to easily recycle the packaging once used. Where paper bags are not suitable, the company will be introducing bags-for-life at its trade counters, further reducing the reliance on single-use plastics throughout the business.

Recognising that plastic packaging is still sometimes necessary in parts of its business, Wolseley is working hard to ensure plastic packaging is recycled and recyclable where possible. With the elimination of all plastic within the business now a major priority, routine audit checks will be carried out to ensure continual improvements are made.

Workable solutions Helen Holly, environmental manager at Wolseley, says: “Merchants play a hugely important role in setting high standards, and as a UK industry leader we are proud to lead the charge in encouraging the adoption of new processes and an industry-wide shift away from single-use plastics.

“We are currently working alongside our suppliers to eliminate single-use plastics entering our business and will also be implementing further initiatives later this year on waste management, transport and energy usage at our UK sites. We must all begin shifting towards hitting the country’s net-zero targets, improving the future of both our business and our environment.”BMJ April 2021 Cemex: moving away from fossil fuels

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