Reduction of plastics

  • Design-Build Contracts
  • Waste management


Requirements and Criteria Type: 
  • Technical Specification (Requirement Specifications)

Main Objective: 

Prevent plastic from ending up as uncontrolled waste (pollution) and dispersed in the natural environment, either during the construction phase or through subsequent replacement.

It is difficult and inappropriate to impose a general requirement that the use of plastics must be avoided. The risks that the various products will entail will vary.  As regards explosives, ignition systems with plastic hoses may be used, which can cause plastic residues to be lost in aggregates and end up in the natural environment. Plastics used in underground pipes do not necessarily represent a challenge as regards the generation of uncontrolled waste (pollution) and dispersal in the natural environment. However, it will then be important to maintain control over microplastics and waste when cutting pipes.  Plastics used as a sealing membrane can also have good environmental properties compared with chemicals which are applied to joints. 

Requirement Specification: 

Plastics from construction of the facility must not be dispersed in the natural environment. Documentation must be prepared concerning the plastic products that are to be used in the project, and a risk assessment must be carried out regarding the risk of dispersal. Measures should be implemented in the event that a risk of dispersal in the natural environment and neighbouring recipients is identified.

The supplier must visually check the aggregate during transfer and remove visible hoses, wires and conduits.  The supplier must specify the total quantity of plastic which is used in the project.

During the project period, a quantity of plastic must be collected from the natural environment corresponding to twice the quantity of plastic that was purchased. 

Remove if not applicable: Macro-polymer fibres must not be used in spraycrete for rock stabilisation purposes.  If ignition systems with plastic hoses are used, the supplier must cut and remove excess hose, wire and conduits when connecting up explosives for blasting works. This will apply to the entire volume of aggregate which is to be dumped in or adjacent to the sea/water body. The supplier must establish control procedures and preparedness measures to prevent the dispersal of plastic waste into the sea/water body.

Documentation of the Requirement Specification: 

Documentation of all plastics with an associated risk assessment and any measures, control procedures and preparedness measures, documentation of supervision.

Documentation of the quantity of plastic purchased, as well as the quantity of plastic collected.

Information about the Requirement Specification: 

Plastic reinforcement in spraycrete is a source of pollution. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has carried out an assessment of the consequences of banning polymer fibre in spraycrete and concluded that it would be prudent to impose appropriate technical requirements in cases involving aggressive environments  

When asking the contractor to collect plastic, you can request that more plastic be collected than has been used in the project. The quantities of plastic that will be used in the project must be calculated, and the resulting figure used as a basis for subsequent collection, so that at least as much plastic is removed from the site and adjacent areas as was used in the construction project. Among other things, a cooperation can be established with voluntary organisations which can contribute to attainment of the target for a positive plastic balance through plastic litter picking, beach cleaning, etc. We recommend that you consult the market regarding the quantity of plastic that should be collected before setting this requirement.

Related links: 

Published: 25. Nov 2020, Last modified: 27. Nov 2020