Construction: is this the plastic age?

Plastic is everywhere in our society and the construction supply chain. It’s damaging nature, our environment. It’s useful, yet harmful. Can we reduce plastic in construction? Where do we start? Neal Maxwell of Changing Streams explains how we can make a start.

Changing Streams effecting change within the Construction Sector – where to begin?

Changing Streams CIC was established in 2019 as a not-for-profit organisation to tackle plastic pollution in industry. The construction sector was chosen as the first because after packaging, this industry is the largest user of plastics generating over 50,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste each year, and that’s only in the UK!

Changing Streams CIC acts as the bridge between academia and industry to drive and effect change. In general, industry has a need to respond to the green agenda and reduce their carbon and plastic footprint. However, very few organisations have the in-house skills to deliver on this through research and/or consultancy methods. Conversely, Universities and other research centres have the skills and knowledge to prove the science but have little experience in deploying this into industry. Changing Streams acts as that magic link to make sure this happens to suit both the commercial requirements of a business and the research aims and objectives of the universities.

The growing focus on climate change and the Green Agenda is building and cannot be ignored. Through education, research and consultancy, Changing Streams provide businesses with an understanding of what is happening whilst supporting them in becoming greener companies. The challenge is monumental, and we have a finite window to effect real change.

The carbon reduction targets have been set but this is only one part of the problem. Changing Streams wants to bring a plastic reduction strategy into play alongside the carbon targets as they believe you cannot have one without the other. 

Changing Streams are now developing a series of tools to assist the public and private sectors in driving change to support the global goals. This work continues and through discussion and collaboration we still have time, just!

The growing range of members within Changing Streams aims to build upon these collaboration efforts as our work continues to deliver balanced and demonstrable changes. 

Changing Streams continues to look to grow its membership with meaning, not just for companies looking to tick a box but for those who are looking to collaborate with like minding people who work in the same space and want to be drivers for change.

Find out more about the journey of Changing Streams and how you can get involved at