Episode 19: Can This Organisation Eliminate Or Greatly Reduce Plastic Within The Construction Industry? Henry Interviews Wendy Jones and Neal Maxwell of Changing Streams

todayDecember 13, 2021


Henry McDonald originally wrote about Changing Streams for The Guardian Newspaper in 2020 in a feature entitled, “Builder aims to help UK construction industry kick its plastic habit.” He also introduced Changing Streams to our audience in the second episode of the Constructive Voices’ podcast in April 2021.

Changing Streams on Constructive Voices Episode Nineteen

So in this episode, we are delighted to welcome the founder of Changing Streams, Neal Maxwell and the Science Engagement Lead, Wendy Jones, in a fascinating interview with Henry McDonald. We catch up on some fascinating facts and this admirable organisation’s progress.



Whether the topic of plastic in the construction industry is close to your heart or not, be sure not to miss this episode. Why? It might be affecting your health or the health of a loved one or colleague. In fact, a quote below from scientist Wendy Jones should resonate with a number of you.



“We know about the turtles in the sea, and we know about what goes on on the beaches and all that sort of thing. What we don’t really understand properly as yet, is what the health impacts can be of breathing in small particles of plastic and it’s going to be a while before we know about it. You know, years ago, people said oh, asbestos is the best insulating material you can get.”Wendy Jones, Science Engagement Lead, Changing Streams

Infographic by Changing Streams

Another newspaper feature was published on 9th December 2021, announcing that, Liverpool housebuilder Hassett Homes is joining forces with an environmental not-for-profit organisation in a drive to eliminate plastic from its operations.

About Changing Streams

We exist to reduce plastic pollution, build a global community, and collaborate to save our oceans and environment. Acting as the bridge between academia and industry, we affect change through various methods and aim to prove much of this through science.

Changing Streams

The Changing Streams Charter sets out our mission and ambition.

All companies who join our Membership Programme will be Charter members, and we will encourage you to share your progress with CS and the wider membership on your own progress to reducing plastic in the environment.

  1. Changing Streams is a Community Interest Company in partnership with the University of Liverpool, committed to the reduction of plastic in the construction industry.

2. Changing Streams and associates believe that the continued use of plastic in construction leads to significant and long term damage to the ecosystem at all levels.

3. Members and associates are expected to use their best endeavours to significantly reduce plastic in the construction industry, whether in the design of the building, materials or packaging.

4. Changing Streams will develop interactive tools to support contractors, architects and designers, surveyors and anyone involved with commissioning buildings to understand and identify the extent of plastics as a component in building materials and in associated functions in the industry. Associated members will help support the formation of these tools and use them in their own work as and where possible.

5. Changing Streams will actively research and support the development and use of sustainable alternatives to current plastic components in building and will encourage the dissemination of information about these. Associated members will help support this research as and where possible.

6. The development of Changing Streams CIC and delivery of the key objectives will be supported through defined levels of membership, including Charter Founder Members and supporting organisations and individuals.

Changing Streams Image

Changing Streams Membership Program

Changing Streams is looking to engage with forward-thinking companies and individuals to make a collective approach and to take major steps towards the removal of plastics from our business practices.

Why Become a member of Changing Streams
Because, like us, you are aware of the damage plastic is doing to the planet and its wildlife and you want to play your part in reducing this damage. Because after packaging, the construction industry is the biggest culprit.

Because the Green Agenda is gathering momentum and governing bodies worldwide are now alive to the problem, so you will be at a disadvantage commercially unless you adopt and promote a sustainability programme within your organisation.

Let us help you on your journey to achieve a reduction in your use of plastic

What are the benefits of becoming a member?

Support for your Business

Networking with like-minded members of various disciplines within the construction industry thereby raising your industry profile

Being part of a community with common values and a unified voice to influence policymakers and shape best practices

Increasing your company’s visibility by including the Changing Streams logo on your literature and having your company’s logo on our website

Reducing the cost of plastic and general waste disposal from construction sites

Reducing the amount of Plastic Tax that you may have to pay when legislation comes into force in April 2022

Your membership entitles you to attend our workshops, round table discussions, networking and speaker events designed to address plastic reduction by project/product/supply chain / and design giving you the opportunity to share your issues and explore remedies with other members

Written by: Jackie De Burca

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