This week marks Recycle Week (20th-26th September) and in a bid to build a more sustainable future for everyone, it is imperative that we all do our bit to reduce our waste and recycle as much as we can.
According to research, plastic packaging in the UK accounts for up to 70% of waste in landfill, which is why CuSP’s founding partners – Lawton Tubes and Mueller Europe – have taken steps to eliminate plastic end caps and plastic sleeves from their product packaging entirely, reducing overall waste.
As two of the UK’s leading copper pipe manufacturers, this alteration means that approximately 85 tonnes of plastic will no longer be needed to package copper tubes before heading to market, which is a huge step in tackling the environmental impact of plastic.
Traditionally, copper tubes are transported or stored with end caps to seal off the tube and help prevent moisture and dust from collecting inside. While this might be convenient, it’s not sustainable.
These end caps collectively contribute to environmentally hazardous waste, meaning it was the first port of call for both CuSP partners when they looked to actively reduce their own environmental impact.
Oliver Lawton, Co-founder of CuSP and Managing Director, Commercial at Lawton Tubes explained: “We have both experimented with using less plastic in our storing and transport processes so that we can play our part in reducing plastic waste. With an increasing push towards eliminating unnecessary plastic in our everyday lives, our customers have warmly supported this move.”
Mark Millerchip, Co-founder of CuSP and Managing Director at Mueller Europe said: “Our bundles are now held with tape alone and we estimate that this will eliminate a substantial amount of waste plastic across the UK copper tube industry every year.”
This move precedes calls for all CuSP members to follow suit and review their packaging processes to identify ways to become more sustainable for the good of the environment.
There are many sustainable packaging options available on the market and the next step will see CuSP phasing out as much plastic waste as possible. This includes the plastic tape used to secure copper tubes and replacing it with sustainable paper tape instead.
Eventually, plastic shrink wrap will be eliminated as part of the journey to more sustainable processes, which will see a huge reduction of waste across the industry.
The steps taken by both partners are a natural progression given the sustainable nature of copper pipes themselves.
Copper is a sustainable metal as it is infinitely recyclable, which means it doesn’t end up on landfill or on beaches and retains all its beneficial properties not matter how many times it is recycled.
With over 65% of all copper mined still in circulation to this day, copper pipes are a more sustainable alternative to plastic pipes. If you work in the plumbing industry, now is the time to choose copper over plastic for a healthier environment.
It’s time to stop using unnecessary plastic wherever we can. Join the Copper Revolution!