Working towards zero avoidable packaging waste in construction

Building a more sustainable use of packaging in construction

A winner of the second round of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund, the ZAP project aims to develop solutions for reducing and improving the management of single-use packaging in the construction industry. Led by the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP), the project helps to generate a better understanding of and reduce packaging waste, minimise contamination of materials collected for recycling and explore end of life scenarios and innovative solutions.

A lack of understanding

Construction as a sector is the second-highest consumer of plastics. Approximately 55,000 tonnes of plastic waste come from UK construction sites every year, of which it is estimated 35,000 tonnes is packaging. Less than half of this plastic packaging is sent for recycling with the majority being sent to landfill or incineration for energy recovery. A holistic understanding is desperately needed of the various packaging types that are used for the vast array of products that enter a construction site, and of their management both on and off-site.

supply chains

Complex supply chains and poor data

One of the biggest barriers with regards to improving packaging in the construction industry is the supply chain - once a product leaves the factory or warehouse, manufacturers have nothing to do with it.

Across the sector there’s poor data and a general lack of understanding of the issue. Herein lies the problem - as without more knowledge, it’s difficult to develop scalable solutions for reducing single-use packaging in construction and managing it better.



Developing scalable solutions

The Zero Avoidable Packaging waste in construction project (ZAP) collaboratively researches, develops and champions much-needed scalable solutions for the whole supply chain.

Demonstrate positive actions

Working with project partners, Cullinan Studio, Bankside Open Spaces Trust, Mace and Morgan Sindall, the ZAP project links with real-world construction projects. This enables it to build valuable case studies and offer training and guidance that will demonstrate the positive actions the whole supply chain and sector can do.

Construction workers

Net Zero construction

Aiming for zero avoidable waste

It is hoped that this will help the construction industry eliminate all 'avoidable' plastic waste by 2042 and many organisations reach zero ‘avoidable’ waste by 2050.




"We’re delighted this project has been funded, as it will enable much-needed granularity of data for construction packaging, plus pathways for its reduction, which will be of real interest to government and the supply chain alike." Simon Corbey Photo Simon Corbey Director at ASBP
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The ZAP toolkit – key findings from the project

The ZAP project has now launched a toolkit outlining key findings from the project. It has one pagers, checklists and case studies aimed at the whole supply chain, including clients, designers, contractors and manufacturers. The toolkit was developed by key stakeholders from across the supply chain, and outlines the key barriers found and explores practical, scalable solutions.
Read the full toolkit

About the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products

The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) is a non-profit, mission-driven organisation, with an ever-growing membership alliance of forward-thinking companies and institutions from across the built environment sector. Launched in 2011 the membership now totals over 110 progressive organisations, including world-renowned research institutions, trade bodies, architectural practices, contractors, and product manufacturers from start-ups and innovators, to market-leading multinational companies.
Visit the ASBP

Enabling tomorrow's solutions

The ZAP project has been funded by the Ecosurety Exploration Fund which is investing £1million in projects that aim to reduce the environmental impact of packaging, batteries or WEEE through innovation or research in the UK. The fund is the first such opportunity to be launched by a UK compliance scheme. It builds on Ecosurety’s experience in supporting innovative projects and new technologies across the waste and recycling sector.
Find out more