Our ULMA polymer concrete channel drains help to recycle up to 104,000 plastic bottles & containers for every 1000 metres produced!

Advances in Sustainable Plastics 

The plastics industry has made significant advances over the years to minimise it’s waste since the early days of plastic manufacturing, when it was a fledgling industry much less established than by todays standards (from about 1935 onwards).

During World War II plastic production in the United States increased by 300% [1] but in more recent years there has been increasing pressure on the industry to make bigger improvements sooner in order to kerb the dependency of supply chains on the use of unsustainable forms of plastic.

Initiatives have been developed over the years to improve the recyclability of plastics, giving plastic waste streams a whole new lease of life, saving it from landfill or incineration. Also much time, money and effort has gone into developing new forms of plastic, some with enhanced properties that are more sustainable when compared to the traditional plastic that would have otherwise been used before hand. Replacing traditional plastic constituents with more sustainable versions have played their part in the overarching aim to reduce the volume of plastic waste.  Moreover, the introduction of the UK Plastic Packaging Tax will further help to reduce the use of non-recyclable plastics within the UK and will help to reduce plastic waste from being imported into the UK as part of packaging from overseas suppliers of manufactured goods (as well as packaging from UK exports).

In the meanwhile, other industries have been (and are) providing healthy competition to the plastics industry by providing alternative materials to traditional plastics, alternatives which can effectively help to further reduce our dependency on plastics by substituting them with more sustainable materials that will achieve matching characteristics to that of the plastic that it has replaced and displaced from the supply chain.

These efforts combined (and more) have helped to reduced the overall volume of unsustainable plastic use throughout global supply chains that would have previously required significantly higher volumes to achieve the same effect. Adopting more sustainable and eco-centric methods will continue to help drive down worldwide dependency on virginal (new) & non-recyclable (single use) plastics….but there is still more to do!

 Recycling Plastic & Enhancing The Strength of EBP’s Range Channel Drainage

Taking onboard the challenge of reducing plastic waste through recycling, our friends at ULMA Architectural have found an intuitive way that reduces plastic waste from the supply chain while also enhancing the strength & durability of their polymer concrete channel drains.

Polymer concrete is used in the manufacture of linear channel drainage, to provide high strength profiles suitable for a range of traffic and loading conditions. Traditionally polymer concrete is made up of 90% aggregate and 10% resin, although this does vary depending on the design requirements. This mixture of raw materials provides the enhanced characteristics required in order for the drainage channel to maintain it’s shape while withstanding loads, trafficking and external conditions (such as frost).

ULMA have come up with an ingenious way to incorporate 25% recycled PET within their resin [2], by reducing recycled plastic bottles to a fine powder. This new formula provides the characteristics required whilst also helping to recycle up to 104,000 plastic bottle & containers for every 1000m (1 km) of the largest ULMA polymer concrete drainage channels produced…how good is that!

Next time you purchase one of our ULMA polymer concrete drainage channels you can have piece of mind that it has helped to reduce plastic waste!