An opportunity, not a threat.

Eco-towns are a big opportunity for construction

Published:  22 July, 2009

UK: The locations of four eco-towns have been announced as part of scaled-down government plans.

They are Rackheath, Norfolk; North West Bicester, Oxfordshire; Whitehill Bordon, East Hants; and the China Clay Community near St Austell, Cornwall.

The zero-carbon developments – some set out on open countryside – have attracted protests and a legal challenge.

But, for Howard Waghorn, managing director of recycled polymer material firm i-plas, the announcement presents a "now or never" opportunity for the construction industry.

"The construction industry needs to up its game in terms of use of recycled materials. The materials are here to be used, but the industry sticks with what it knows, traditional methods and traditional materials.

"I see the construction industry like a huge lorry which needs turning around. Once it turns to face the right way there will be no stopping it, but at the moment the lorry has barely slowed down to notice recycled materials and green initiatives.

"Everyone thinks the solutions are difficult or expensive. The reality is that there are solutions to the environmental problems we face which can be used right now.

"We are only scratching the surface of the potential for recycled materials and there is plenty of waste material which can be transformed into i-plas."

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