Plastics have been used in construction for some time and the use of recycled material is more desirable from a green perspective. The material in this roll of loft insulation (1) from B&Q is made of 90% recycled plastic bottles with 10% polyester bonding. It is an efficient, cleaner alternative to the traditional glass fibre. It is free from floating fibres and therefore does not cause any itching or irritation to the installer.
A significant amount of energy is used to heat a house and nearly a quarter of this heat is lost through the roof if it is not insulated. According to the Energy Saving Trust if everyone in the UK topped up their loft insulation to 270mm, over £700m would be saved each year in fuel costs. That is enough money to pay the annual fuel bills of around 550,000 families. Insulation acts as a blanket, trapping the rising heat in the rooms of the building rather than letting it escape through the roof.
This product is part of B&Q's One Planet Living campaign helping consumers make environmentally sound choices, their Sustainability Action Plan 2008 states:
B&Q has committed to become a One Planet Living business. That is our ambition. We have not taken this decision lightly nor have we taken this decision naively. We know it means hard work and difficult choices but we recognise that if we are to make a difference to the world in which we live, we have to make this commitment and stand by those difficult choices. If everyone in the world consumes resources like the average Brit, then to maintain our current way of life will take three planets and of course, we have only one.
If we are to achieve One Planet Living we need to live within our fair share of the Earth's resources, in the UK this means reducing our carbon emissions by 90% and our Ecological Footprint by two thirds by 2030. One Planet Living is a global initiative based on ten principles of sustainability developed by BioRegional and WWF. BioRegional are working with partners in the UK and around the world to implement One Planet Living in new eco-cities and villages, existing towns and the London Olympic Games. By taking the lead and showing that One Planet Living is possible these One Planet Living initiatives aim to speed progress to a more sustainable society. B&Q is the first retailer to join One Planet Living.
By using recycled plastic bottles as a material for insulation B&Q has tapped in to two green issues. The first is recycling, using materials that may have otherwise gone into landfill, and secondly, the energy saving issue of insulating a house to prevent loss of heat, helping us all to take the first steps towards One Planet Living.