Sealing sustainably

For professional painters and decorators, utilising high-quality sustainable products is a natural progression in light of current environmental issues and legislation. Here, Andy Cummins, Senior Product Manager at Geocel highlights how switching filler products can not only increase reputation but also reduce landfill costs.

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on the changes that we can make in order to reduce our own environmental impact. For the painting and decorating sector, these changes extend to the products used by the profession every day. While there will always be a series of trends in the industry that come and go, the topic of sustainability is here to stay. Therefore, it is beneficial for trade professionals to remain up to date on the modern methods they can adopt to boost their environmental credentials to customers.
  Unfortunately, one area that the construction sector continues to fall short on is its plastic waste consumption. With construction activities generating a significant amount of waste material, which often can’t be recycled, the industry finds itself ranked amongst the least sustainable.
  In fact, 23% of all plastic produced in the UK is consumed by the construction sector, with an estimated 50,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste generated every year. That includes over 100 million plastic cartridges sent to landfill each year.
  For larger refurbishment projects, limiting the amount of plastic packaging used will not only help combat the trade’s environmental impact, but also help to reduce waste disposal expenses. The costs associated with the disposal of onsite waste, particularly waste that must be sent to landfill, has been growing in recent years – due mainly to landfill tax which has more than trebled since 2008 to a current cost of £96.70 per tonne of waste. In addition, from April 2022 the UK government is due to introduce a further tax on companies who produce or import plastic packaging with insufficient recycled content, which will in turn cause product prices to rise. As such, selecting alternative products that do not carry the same level of plastic packaging has the potential to save the trade a significant amount in both purchase and disposal costs.
  Furthermore, by adopting more sustainable product solutions, painters and decorators will not only see a monetary benefit but will also be able to demonstrate their environmental credentials to customers.
  With a growing number of consumers looking closely at the environmental impact of their purchases, it is increasingly likely that this will play a role in their decision-making process when it comes to requiring home renovations. In fact, almost half of people under the age of 24 say that they actively avoid products or purchases which result in a negative environmental impact. Therefore, as this new generation grow older and purchase homes, decorators that do not analyse their practices may find themselves being left behind as customers look to select more sustainable solutions.

  With this in mind, manufacturers are increasingly investing in ways to offer more sustainable solutions to limit the industry’s environmental impact.
  One such example is Geocel’s ecoSEAL system. With a reusable sleeve, the system enables the use of trade favourite sealants such as the brand’s Painters Mate acrylic filler in more environmentally friendly foils. Each sleeve can be used an average of 75 times before being recycled when empty, while the foils are eight times smaller than traditional sealant cartridges meaning decorators can significantly reduce the extent of their plastic waste.
  After taking the ecoSEAL Challenge, Geocel’s latest initiative designed to encourage the trade to limit its plastic waste by trialling the ecoSEAL system for free, painter and decorator Justin Bailly commented, “If we all make a small change and switch to foils as much as possible, we can make a big difference. We can continue to use flexible acrylic fillers like Painters Mate, but in a more environmentally friendly way.”
  The shift to more sustainable solutions offers a series of benefits for painters and decorators. Not only will adopting environmentally friendly practices attract new customers who are more conscious about their impact on the world around them, but also help to reduce the increasing costs associated with sending plastic waste to landfill.

To register for the ecoSEAL Challenge to receive a FREE ecoSEAL sleeve and foil of your choice