The Gypsum Products Development Association (GPDA) represents the four major gypsum board and plaster manufacturers in the UK and Ireland – British Gypsum,Siniat, Knauf Drywall and Gypsum Industries.
The primary function of the GPDA is to develop and encourage the understanding of gypsum-based building products and systems and to pioneer new applications for these products. It also has an ongoing commitment to advise on matters of environmental impact, energy conservation and health and safety, wherever gypsum based products are used.
In 2007, aware of the growing need to address the amount of plasterboard waste going to landfill and the consequent perceived environmental impact, the GPDA has worked with Defra and WRAP representatives at Ashdown House to set two measurable recycling goals for the industry.
Goal one was to reduce the amount of waste generated by plasterboard manufacture being sent to landfill from 30,000 to 10,000 tonnes/year by 2010. Goal two was to increase recycling from new construction plasterboard waste to 50%, again by 2010.
Plasterboard Road Map
The GPDA and its partners in the Plasterboard Sustainability Partnership (PSP) developed the new Plasterboard Sustainability Action Plan to enable plasterboard to maintain its prominent position as a construction material through further positive steps to reduce environmental impacts throughout the product life cycle.
The PSP has set five broad objectives for the action plan:
- efficient manufacturing
- safer handling
- towards zero waste to landfill
- making the most of materials
- partnering on sustainability
Plasterboard safety labelling
As part of the GPDA’s commitment to continuous safety improvement, from the end of July 2010 UK and Irish plasterboard manufacturers added new printed guidance on manual handling to plasterboard products.
This safe handling guidance was one of a number of initiatives generated by an industry-wide forum led by the Health & Safety Executive and comprises: a warning triangle, a graphic showing a two-person board lift, board weight, and a statement to ‘Handle Safely’. These four parts now appear on the reverse face of plasterboard products, alongside existing technical and compliance information, manufactured by GPDA members.
GPDA in Europe
The GPDA is an active member of Eurogypsum, the European Federation of national associations of producers of gypsum product manufacturers, based in Brussels. Its objective is to promote a sustainable built environment for Europe through the environmental, social and economic benefits of gypsum. They aim to do this by:
- Anticipating industrial changes for sustainable construction
- Contributing to a sustainable European policy framework for green growth with high environmental, social and economic standards;
- Shaping opinion through position papers, industry best practice and initiatives;
- Supporting EU legislation with EU funded projects;
- Developing networks with relevant stakeholders.