Roger Hartshorn makes some powerful observations on our Wigan & Leigh recycling story (The Glazine, December 15) but I must say, in the main, he has missed the point.
What we did with the single window was quite obviously a showpiece exercise to highlight what can be done – and that VEKA has the technology to do it. Along with this is the underlying message that a massive opportunity is being missed because of the prejudice about the use of recyclate in windows in the UK.
Also, I did not say this window had a smaller carbon footprint; I said it would if it could be done on an industrial scale. It should be clear to most that if such a scale could be achieved, the facilities would be created in the UK so there would be no need for anything to go to Germany. This immediately negates Roger Hartshorn’s tirade on not using local labour – as well as his comment that you cannot shrink the distance from Germany to the UK.
Incidentally, the carbon footprint of this exercise was actually minimal because the window was mostly ‘hitch-hiked’ on vehicles that were making the journey anyway.
In short, we took one piece of PVC-U on a very long journey to draw attention to the principle, practicality and desirability of PVC-U recycling, not to imply that you need to send it on a cross-continental journey to achieve that!
Where I do agree entirely with Roger is in his general enthusiasm for sustainability and recycling. Despite our little clash, we are clearly on the same side. To that end, we urge everyone in our industry not only to pass on more of your post-consumer waste – whatever system you are taking out or putting in – to VEKA Recycling but also to help us to change the attitude in the UK towards making PVC-U recycling into UK windows not just acceptable but actually preferable.
Roger Hartshorn, MD, Liniar Window Systems