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Waste Management: Eco-Friendly Flooring Practices

In the United Kingdom, the flooring industry faces ongoing challenges and responsibilities, particularly in the context of waste management and sustainability. With the increase in environmental awareness, legislation has evolved to guide and compel businesses towards more sustainable practices. This is crucial not just for compliance, but for the preservation of our environment for future generations. For flooring contractors, understanding these regulations is key to navigating the complex landscape of eco-friendly practices.

Recofloor - Recycling Innovation in Flooring

Waste Management 1

One of the most significant contributions to sustainable flooring practices in the UK comes from Recofloor. This is a pioneering scheme that collects waste vinyl flooring, diverting it away from landfills and into recycling processes. Launched by leading flooring manufacturers Altro and Polyflor, Recofloor represents a major step forward in the industry's environmental efforts. By participating in this scheme, flooring contractors can significantly reduce their environmental impact, turning waste materials into new products and thus contributing to the circular economy.

Recofloor's scheme seamlessly aligns with the legislative frameworks by providing a practical solution for recycling vinyl flooring. Their efforts have not only contributed to significant environmental benefits but also offer a blueprint for responsible resource management within the industry. By embracing such schemes and adhering to legislation, flooring contractors can ensure their practices are sustainable, compliant, and aligned with the broader goals of environmental conservation and sustainability.

SASGO is the proud to have been awarded Recofloor Distributor of The Year in 2023 and we are committed to sustainable practices in our operations. We are always looking to take our efforts to the next level, and are strong advocates of the Recofloor recycling scheme, as it allows our customers to act sustainably and enhance their own eco-friendly practices. Sustainability is an ongoing process, and we prioritise assessing our initiatives by aligning with prominent sustainability organisations that advocate for best practices and efficient waste management. In March 2023, SASGO marked a significant milestone in our own sustainability journey by attaining Carbon Neutral status.

– Read our article on our achievements and our commitment to sustainability on our sustainability page.

Existing UK Legislation

The UK's waste management legislation encompasses various regulations, including the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, which emphasises the 'waste hierarchy' preference for prevention, reuse, recycling, and recovery of waste materials over disposal. For flooring contractors, this means prioritising the reduction of waste during flooring installations and renovations. Furthermore, the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 play a pivotal role when dealing with flooring materials that contain hazardous substances, such as certain adhesives and sealants. These regulations mandate the safe disposal of hazardous waste, ensuring harmful chemicals do not pose a risk to the environment or human health.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 also impact flooring contractors by requiring them to control substances that are hazardous to health, including those used in flooring installations. These regulations ensure that any chemicals used are stored, handled, and disposed of in ways that mitigate their environmental impact.

A key piece of relatively new legislation that could impact Flooring Contractors is the Environmental Act 2021 which highlights that construction, demolition, and excavation were responsible for 62% of the UK's total waste in 2018. It underlines the significant impact the construction industry has on waste and confers power to various national authorities to make their own new regulations which aim to eliminate avoidable waste by 2050.

In conclusion, the synergy between waste management legislation and initiatives like Recofloor is driving the UK flooring industry towards more sustainable practices. Flooring contractors, through compliance and participation in recycling schemes, play a vital role in this transition. By understanding and integrating these regulations and initiatives into their operations, they not only contribute to environmental protection, but also position themselves as forward-thinking leaders in sustainable flooring practices.

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