What goes around…

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell reports on Veka Recycling’s fully operational site in Wellingborough.

About ten years ago I visited Veka’s recycling site in Germany, which, even by today’s standards, was an advanced operation, and it gave me a good idea where the industry was heading in terms of environmental responsibility.

The drivers then were similar to now: a general increase in awareness on a consumer level regarding plastic waste; the increasing price of raw material; and the increasing price of disposal.

When it comes to Veka Recycling’s new site in Wellingborough becoming fully operational, we have another driver: Brexit. Interestingly, Veka sees the continuous supply of recycled PVCU as a vital link in the chain come March 29. Whether that’s because it can offset any increases in the price of raw material, or because the future of plastic products requires a commitment to closed loop recycling, it doesn’t really matter.

What does matter is that companies are investing in the infrastructure that makes the double glazing industry a leader in practical environmental solutions.

This comes at a time when the constituency of the UK’s only Green party MP refuses to accept more plastic waste.

Since the pressure that our environment is under is discussed almost daily on news and social media platforms, it is vital that, as an industry, we use it as a driver in product design and marketing. If we don’t, then will we see sales tumble as a result?

Not only do I believe that this is an important topic for the glass and glazing industry to discuss, but I am seeing an increasing number of news stories cross my desk that puts environmental concerns – whether that be energy efficient products, recycling waste, or harvesting solar energy – first. Therefore, I’ll be introducing a monthly environment feature in the printed magazine. The first one is in the January issue, which should be on your desks now.

As always, your thoughts and comments are gratefully received.

BREAKING NEWS: Epwin Glass has been acquired by the Panoramic Group.