Will the GGF Proposed National Scrappage Scheme Save our planet?

The Glass & Glazing Federation (GGF) has recently petitioned the government to introduce a National Window Scrappage Scheme. The GGF is the recognised leading authority for employers and companies within the flat glass, glazing, window, home improvement, plastics and window film industries and is the primary trade association for companies that make, supply or fit flat glass and related products representing more than 60% of the industry's turnover.

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Energy Efficient Windows (EEWs) have a huge role to play in improving the thermal performance of the existing housing stock

Manchester, UK (PRWEB) November 4, 2009

The Glass & Glazing Federation (GGF) has recently petitioned the government to introduce a National Window Scrappage Scheme. The GGF is the recognised leading authority for employers and companies within the flat glass, glazing, window, home improvement, plastics and window film industries and is the primary trade association for companies that make, supply or fit flat glass and related products representing more than 60% of the industry's turnover.

The GGF also provides information for homeowners, professional specifiers and anyone seeking professional and unbiased information on any aspect of glass and glazing in the UK. The GGF is a great promoter of energy efficient glazing and the GGF's Carbon Calculator enables homeowners and others to see how much money and carbon can be saved by installing new Energy Efficient Windows.

Under the proposed scheme it is hoped that householders will be encouraged to scrap their old poorly insulated windows in return for a £1,000 grant towards the installation costs of new, professionally installed, energy efficient ones. Consumer benefits would include the £1000 saving, a domestic cosmetic facelift, lower fuel bills and more energy efficient homes. The Government would also benefit with the reduction of emissions from the existing housing stock.

Nigel Rees, Chief Executive of the GGF, commented recently that "Energy Efficient Windows (EEWs) have a huge role to play in improving the thermal performance of the existing housing stock". "EEWs can reduce emissions by 10% from dwellings nationally and reduce national domestic energy expenditure by 10%.

According to the energy saving trust double glazing can save up to two-thirds of a tonne 680kg of CO2 a year. So could PVC-u windows and doors be the answer to saving the planet?

If the proposed scheme is adopted, it is anticipated that this would trigger and upturn in demand for new PVC-u windows and doors. The industry has seen a decline in recent years as it is reported that direct sell windows and doors fell by 12% in 2008 and by a further 14% in 2009. The forecast is for a further 10% drop in 2010.
No doubt any upturn in sales would trigger questions about the disposal of old PVC windows and doors in an environmentally responsible way. Despite the fact that it is often said that PVC is not recyclable, this is simply not true so there is no need for alarm. There is a range of methods already available for deriving residual value from used plastics products. In fact, PVC, like all other thermoplastic materials, can be recycled relatively straightforwardly.

The PVC-u window industry has been criticised for an apparent lack of post-use recycling. But it is now common practice to recover and recycle factory wastes and / or off-cuts after the window has been fabricated. These materials are then incorporated with virgin polymer to produce further long life products including window profiles.

A company that has been at the forefront of collection and recycling of redundant PVC-u materials is Ecoplas Limited. Based in Selby, North Yorkshire, Ecoplas is a company that specialises in post consumer recycling. Ecoplas has invested in the necessary, plant equipment and new technology to handle and process substantial volumes of post consumer materials.

Managing Director of Ecoplas, Ian Tippett commented on the recent proposal. "Whilst I feel it is a good idea to incentivise homeowners to make energy efficient changes, it is equally as important to prevent post consumer windows and doors going to landfill. Our company specialises in this area and it is both environmentally beneficial and cost effective. At Ecoplas we have the capability to process old window frames and convert them to reusable material which can be used as a raw material in the manufacture of new building products. We are keen to expand our operations in this area and to support companies wishing to show a real commitment to deal with their post consumer waste responsibly".

Ecoplas have a fleet of vehicles to collect post consumer waste which includes 50cu yd roll on roll off skips. Through arrangements with waste transfer stations and waste management companies Ecoplas receive bulk loads of end of life PVC windows and doors. Ecoplas can therefore also assist companies who may be tendering and negotiating for public or private sector contracts where environmental considerations and policies are key elements of the contract. For further information the service team can be contacted on 01757 282828.

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