|Construction Photography takes its responsibility for the environment seriously. We believe there are everyday small scale decisions that will help build a global solution for a safer and greener environment for future generations.
There are a small number of environmental issues created by our photographic activities mainly being paper, batteries, inkjet cartridges waste and travel. In order to reduce our carbon footprint we have recycled all our ink cartridges and batteries this year, saved 160 kg of paper by using a simple “both side printing” setting on our printer and increased the number of our photo assignments using public transport to 9%. We will continue to instigate positive changes throughout 2008.
The word ''recycling'' is often used to mean the return of materials to be recycled. However, this is only the first stage of the process. The collected materials have to be sorted and cleaned, then reprocessed and, finally, manufactured into new items which can be sold. Recycling, therefore, involves all four stages - collection, sorting, manufacturing and purchasing.
Unless all four stages take place, recycling will not work. If markets do not exist for the collected material, it piles up, often at great expense, and cannot be used. The final stage, purchasing of recycled products, is vital for recycling to be economic and for recycling schemes, including those from offices, to be successful. By 'closing the loop' through purchasing office products made partially or wholly from reclaimed materials, we can ensure that the market for waste materials from offices remains strong and office recycling schemes will flourish. You can visit www.wasteonline.org.uk for more information.
• Over 30 million inkjet cartridges are dumped each year in the UK alone.
• Worldwide this figure increases to over 375 million. By 2010 we will be throwing away nearly 500 million cartridges every year in the EU.
• Only 5% of all empty inkjet cartridges are currently being recycled.
• Email has increased the amount of paper used in offices by almost 40%.
• Plastics used in inkjet cartridges can take over 450 years to decompose
• 90ml of oil is used to produce each inkjet cartridge.
• In the last six months alone, inkjet cartridge recycling has saved more than 50 million litres of oil. This is more oil than what was tragically spilled by the Exxon Valdez in Alaska in 1989.
• Carbon-based gas is a major cause of global warming. Inkjet cartridge recycling helps reduce carbon emissions as well as to conserve resources and reduce waste.
The reclassification of empty inkjet and toner cartridges as Hazardous Waste, from the 16th July 2005 is the Environment Agency's first step towards addressing this problem.
1- Green procurement
Paper: 60% of the office paper used is 100% recycled and manufactured by an ISO 14001 accredited paper mill. Our favourite supplier is EVOLVE™ Papers which recovers from landfill over 180,000 tonnes of waste paper every year. Visit their website for UK distributors' locations. www.evolve-papers.com EVOLVE™ is Blue Angel accredited. www.blauer-engel.de
Printer cartridges: all inkjet cartridges are purchased through Cartridge World who refill cartridges and buy back used cartridges. They are 10% to 50% cheaper than new ones and prevent waste. A used cartridge can be remanufactured many times, depending on type and condition, saving oil each time. There are over 280 Cartridge World stores across the UK. www.cartridgeworld.org
2 – Reducing waste – Office recycling scheme
• Whenever possible use double-sided photocopying. Set the photocopier to default to double-sided printing.
• Photocopier and printers always reset to single copy printing after use.
• Paper unsuited to recycling, such as coloured paper and scrap pieces of paper are put together to make notepads.
• Reuse envelopes for internal circulation.
• We keep a pile of good quality A4 scrap paper next to the printers for rough or trial copies.
• Reuse wallet folders, hanging file dividers and other storage items.
• Send CDRoms and DVDs for recycling. Make sure they are scratched with a sharp instrument and inoperable before disposal occurs in order to protect the IPR they may contain in strict accordance with UK Data protection.
• Polystyrene beads are collected up and saved for reuse.
• Pieces of cards, such as those that form the back of A4 notepads, can be saved to stiffen envelopes, for sending photographs or artwork to printers.
• Unusual sized envelopes are worth keeping for the occasional non-standard package.
• Battery containers can be brought to the Southwark Re-use and Recycling Centre at Manor Place Depot (just off the Walworth Road) open 7 days a week, from 8am to 5.50pm.