For most of us involved in the building industry, reducing our environmental impact is an increasingly important priority. One small step that can make a big difference is taking a fresh look at your use of sealants.
Every year, it’s estimated that a staggering one hundred million used sealant cartridges are sent to landfill in the UK. That equates to around 6,000 tonnes of non-degradable waste – with at least some of it being produced by the glazing industry. One company which has found an innovative way of addressing this problem is British-based, Bond It.
As David Moore, Managing Director at the manufacturer of sealants, adhesives, grouts and other building chemicals, explains: “For all businesses – including those in the sealant applicator sector – the case for adopting more sustainable products and working practices has never been stronger. Aside from protecting the environment for future generations, going greener can deliver major benefits in other areas such as potentially reduced costs and increased marketing opportunities.
“It’s for this reason that Bond It remains committed to enhancing our range with environmentally friendly products that still offer all the performance of their more traditional, less green counterparts. A prime example of this can be found in our Reload range.”
Better by design
Bond It’s Reload range of silicones employs a unique reusable design that helps to minimise waste to landfill offering a solution around sustainable packaging. The system is designed for use with special sausage refills. Currently being offered, three of Bond It’s most popular silicones and sealants, WP100, Frame-Mate and Multi-Mate, with a view to rolling out the concept to other products in the range at a later date.
How the Reload refillable system works is simple. The silicone is supplied in the form of EU3 aluminium foil sausages that can be replaced as needed. The end of this refill is removed with scissors before the nozzle is attached as normal. The sealant can then be dispensed using an ordinary skeleton gun and once the refill is used up, the aluminium slug can be simply and cleanly removed and disposed of before another refill is reloaded.
As well as being incredibly easy to use, the Reload system also offers significant environmental benefits. In particular, both the cartridge and the nozzle are completely recyclable while Reload’s refillable nature also means that any excess silicone in the nozzle doesn’t go to waste.
But the green benefits don’t stop there. The reusable nature of Reload also results in a considerable reduction in the amount of waste generated and subsequently requiring disposal.
“Aside from helping to reduce the enormous number of sealant cartridges currently being sent to landfill, the Reload system also delivers a significant reduction in packaging use and subsequent waste,” explains David. “In fact, compared to traditional spent sealant cartridges, a used Reload refill is up to 60% lighter and 80% smaller in volume.
“This offers major benefits against a backdrop where site waste disposal costs are now determined by waste type and weight. It’s also particularly pertinent when we take into consideration the legal requirement for Site Waste Management Plans (SWMP) on all building projects over £300,000 which seek to increase waste reduction, recovery and recycling.” Coupled with landfill shortages around the corner and increasing site costs imposed by the Government, this will lead to increased transportation costs as waste will need to travel further.
As a further benefit, the aluminium foil packaging employed on the refills ensures that the silicone boasts twice the product shelf life of traditional cartridges. This helps to significantly reduce spoilage. Plus, the reduction in packaging also helps to make the refills lighter and more space effective than traditional alternatives.
As David concludes: “As a business, Bond It has always had a firm focus on product development and on pioneering new solutions that meet the evolving needs of the industries we serve. As a result, we continue to enhance our range with products that not only set new standards in terms of performance and technical innovation, but also environmental credentials.
“Reload is a prime example of this commitment. Its greener, more sustainable nature makes it an ideal choice for any organisation or individual that uses silicones and sealants and that wants to reduce their environmental impact.”
Potentially it will also be a more cost effective option to consider if the Government pass legislation in 2022 to tax imported plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled content. With current cartridges being produced from 100% virgin plastic there will be a cost increase that inevitably will be passed on to end users of these products. Switching to greener systems, like the Reload concept, will reap commercial benefits as well as tackling the increasing issue of single use plastic and its devastating affect on the planet.