todayNovember 9, 2021
In this episode of Conversations with Changing Streams the theme of Sustainable alternatives to plastic materials used in construction was discussed by a varied panel of experts. Our Panel was hosted by Neal Maxwell and Leo Aspen from Changing Streams and included – Ade Sotayo: BrunelUniversity London, David Stone of Carbon Trap Org, Duncan Baker-Brown: Baker Brown Studio, Dr. Thomas Bennett: Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub and Hamish Taylor of Shinergise.
There were several new materials mentioned with some dialogue on how these materials were being developed and deployed in the marketplace. This included Miscanthus (Elephant Grass), Mycelium (mushroom), and bamboo. Interestingly the panel felt we were on the verge of transformation as new materials and solutions emerged globally. Bringing nature into the conversation when selecting materials was felt like a positive step and one which could help change our habits towards a greener future.
We touched on timber buildings but noted care was needed around the unintended consequences of choosing such materials. It was suggested people should consider local resources where possible but acknowledge the potential limitation of supply. Spending time to think about our choices is important and noted everyone can play a part in this.
We acknowledged that plastic has a place in construction in certain circumstances but generally agreed we needed to reduce the amount used. The LCA tool was suggested to identify where certain plastics are useful but emphasised the need for reuse at end of life. Recycling was discussed briefly but it was felt that better recycling facilities and infrastructure are imperative to making that a successful solution.
The plastic tax was mentioned as a tool that would shift our approach to plastic and would hopefully reduce the amount used.
The panel agreed that change would be progressive and was optimistic about the future.
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