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Construction wastes 35% of raw materials

MORE THAN 35% of the raw materials fed into the construction products manufacturing process are thrown away as waste, a new study has revealed.

Data gathered by construction industry research body Ciria with waste management firms Biffa and Viridis shows that in 1998, 420Mt of virgin material resources were used by the construction sector.

Of this, 360Mt or 85% was converted into construction products. But just 275Mt, or 65% of the initial tonnage, was actually used in a permanent structure.

A massive 145Mt of materials was simply thrown away.

The report, Construction industry mass balance: resource use, wastes and emissions, also shows that manufacturing and transporting construction products consumed energy equivalent to 8Mt of oil.

Thirty million tonnes of greenhouse gases - mainly carbon dioxide - were pumped into the atmosphere, says the report.

INFOPLUS www. ciria. org. uk See feature, page 16

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