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The London Plan 2021 - Policy S17

Over the next few weeks we will be covering the key highlights of the Mayor of London’s ‘London Plan 2021’ and how it relates to the construction industry. As the document itself is over 500 pages we will be giving you some key headlines that will be key to London’s ‘good growth’ strategy.

This week we are kicking off with the policy section S17: Reducing Waste and supporting the circular economy.

The direct extract from the policy is as follows;

Resource conservation, waste reduction, increases in material re-use and recycling, and reductions in waste going for disposal will be achieved by the Mayor, waste planning authorities and industry working in collaboration to:

 1) promote a more circular economy that improves resource efficiency and innovation to keep products and materials at their highest use for as long as possible

2) encourage waste minimisation and waste prevention through the reuse of materials and using fewer resources in the production and distribution of products

3) ensure that there is zero biodegradable or recyclable waste to landfill by 2026

4) meet or exceed the municipal waste recycling target of 65 per cent by 2030163

5) meet or exceed the targets for each of the following waste and material streams: a) construction and demolition – 95 per cent reuse/recycling/recovery b) excavation – 95 per cent beneficial use164

6) design developments with adequate, flexible, and easily accessible storage space and collection systems that support, as a minimum, the separate collection of dry recyclables (at least card, paper, mixed plastics, metals, glass) and food.

As you can see from the topics covered the Greater London Authority has recognised that a high percentage of the material waste in London comes from the built environment and according to the UK Green Building Council 40% of UK’s carbon emissions comes from the construction sector.

The policy also rightly reinforces the message that linear construction is not sustainable – where materials are extracted, used and then thrown away at end of life and we must move to a more circular economy especially within construction.

So how can RMF assist with making construction more circular? Well, we have already been active players within the ‘circular economy’ for a number of years through our RMF Eco range. We work closely with strip out and demolition contractors to divert raised flooring from landfill and for re-use where the panels remain fit for reuse. Through our extensive industry knowledge, in house testing and hand inspection of panels we are confident in our RMF Eco range’s ability to provide an excellent and low carbon alternative to new raised floor. Our ethos is that re-use is imperative to us achieving net zero and production of new products but with a ‘destruction and then offsetting’ strategy is not sustainable, it is not caring for the planet and it is not ‘good growth’.

To find out how to make your next raised flooring project truly sustainable and low carbon contact RMF, the UK’s largest raised flooring reuse contractor and the only raised flooring contractor globally to hold an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) IS0140025 for a reused raised flooring system.


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