Some Environmental Policies Are Here, Now, and Highly Effective
Oct 17, 2023

Some Environmental Policies Are Here, Now, and Highly Effective

Press information

With the government controversially postponing the phasing out of diesel and petrol cars and gas boilers, Stuart Stockley, managing director of VEKA Recycling, says there is still much to focus on that is already being done.

Clearly seizing on the results of the Uxbridge bi-election when the Conservatives won the seat following a protest against the policy of Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s decision to extend the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to the outer boroughs, the prime minister Rishi Sunak caused uproar when he announced the delay delay in the phasing out of diesel and petrol cars and gas boilers, whilst claiming that Britain remains on target for Net Zero by 2050.

For Stuart Stockley, however, such headlines can hide the fact that a great deal is already in place to improve our environment and reduce our carbon footprint: “Sometimes such headlines can be a distraction,” says Stuart, “such as the huge amount of work already being done to reduce waste, to recycle materials and therefore reduce carbon emissions by returning important materials back into the economy.”

Of course, Stuart refers to the work done by his company VEKA Recycling Ltd, the UK arm of the firm that pioneered the recycling of PVC-U from the early ‘Nineties, and which has become a routine process for end of life window and door frames and virgin offcut profiles throughout mainland Europe and the UK. VEKA Recycling is responsible, in effect, for PVC-U gaining a reputation for being a ‘good plastic’.

“All plastic is not equal,” says Stuart. “The PVC-U we use in windows is quite different to the single use plastic that society is trying to eliminate. In fact, PVC-U is one of fenestration’s biggest assets when it comes to sustainability, but only if it’s recycled responsibly. This is the message that as an industry we have successfully spread to large numbers of companies involved in the manufacture and installation of windows and doors and of course, their removal, but we need to ensure that PVC-U window frames are returned for recycling by every installer as a matter of course. And we also need to influence more homeowners.

“Recycling PVC-U frames diverts them from landfill and also reduces the amount of virgin material used in the manufacture of fenestration products. This reduces carbon emissions, but also extends the service life of PVC-U by decades, or even centuries. This arguably makes PVC-U one of the most sustainable building product materials on the planet,” explained Stuart.

“VEKA Recycling collects post-consumer frames from fabricators and installers that want to confidently demonstrate their commitment to sustainability to their customers. We process the frames at our specialist PVC-U window and door frame recycling site in Wellingborough, which means we can guarantee that recycling standards and legal guidelines will be upheld at every stage, protecting our fabricator and installer customers, as well as consumers.”

PVC-U windows and doors were traditionally sold on price before significant advances in performance and aesthetics in recent years. But as society continues to shift towards a greener agenda, Stuart believes that there are additional opportunities fabricators and installers to emphasise PVC-U’s credentials as a highly effective and sustainable framing material as well as for its excellent energy efficiency performance.

“Eco-conscious consumers will be attracted by the fact that when they order new windows and doors, their old PVC-U frames will be removed from their home, transported to a specialist recycling facility, and reprocessed to eventually create brand new products that can be recycled again at the end of their lives,” insists Stuart. “But they must be careful to use credible and authentic recycling companies to collect and process their old frames, lest they fall foul of strict waste collection and disposal laws. It’s disappointing that there are people out there willing to maximise on the commercial benefits of sustainability with no intention of doing the right thing, but that is the unfortunate truth. Installers need to be aware of this fact before choosing their recycling partner.”

Stuart also believes that responsible recycling is not just for installers: “Fabricators can also benefit from employing the services of a trusted recycling specialist when it comes to the processing of off-cuts and flawed frames. Not only as a selling point for them, but to ensure that the whole supply chain is doing its bit to minimise environmental damage and ensure that material does not go to waste.

“In fact, VEKA Group is once again leading by example,” added Stuart. “The VEKA Group has set itself a clear goal of climate neutrality, that by 2045, the company group aims to operate in a climate-neutral manner across the entire value chain at all locations and across all scopes. As the construction sector is one of the most emission- and resource-intensive industries, we can now actively contribute to achieving the global climate protection goals.”

Stuart also has a message for the politicians: “Whilst I understand that issues such as the pushing back of deadlines for the banning of petrol and diesel cars and gas boilers is highly emotive, it is also important to embrace and promote existing technologies that are having an enormous and positive impact on the environment and towards our achievement of Net Zero. There is more that can be done however to make these even more effective, such as the simple act of banning PVC-U from landfill for example. The impact of that would be enormous, and as an industry, we are ready and waiting to ensure immediate benefits are returned to our planet.”

Get in contact with the VEKA Recycling team if you are interested in recycling your old uPVC windows and doors.

Prepared by VAST PR on behalf of VEKA Recycling Ltd. For further information contact Beth Brennan at VAST PR, on 0845 0945 215; email