Water carry on – make sustainability your focus

Editor Philippa Turrell asks should the kbb industry try harder to create sustainable projects?

03 Jun, 19

Following David Attenborough’s Blue Planet TV programme, Youth Strike 4 Climate and activism by Extinction Rebellion, never has there been such a focus on the environment and sustainability.

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Editor of Kitchens & Bathrooms News Philippa Turrell


From the scare of discovering micro plastics in water, through to the plastic drinking straw ban and demand for the Government to reduce green gas emissions to zero by 2025, there has been a seismic shift in the public’s attitude to sustainability.

And the kitchen and bathroom industry hasn’t been left behind.

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Manufacturers have already worked hard on delivering water and energy-saving products, as well as tackling a reduction in plastic and food waste.

Just think of low-flushing WCs and air injection shower heads to reduce water use, filter water and boiling water taps – removing the need for single serve bottles and the power-hungry kettle.

Not to mention fridges, which have been designed to preserve food for longer, reducing food waste too.

There has also been a move by the industry to tackle waste across the supply chain; from the likes of Lakes using 100% recycled packaging and the Used Kitchen Company finding a market for second-hand kitchens. So far, so good, then.

Yet, at the same time, it seems there is still a mountain to climb to encourage sustainability in the home including water efficiency.

According to WRAS nearly 40% of Brits don’t seek advice on water saving and one in four don’t know how much water they use, in fact many people use up to twice the amount of water they estimate.

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) has been working hard to campaign to consumers with radio interviews and videos to help consumers think about water use.

It has been promoting the Unified Water Label, which highlights how much water a product uses.

But is this a job just for manufacturers? Should retailers and designers play a greater role?

Alongside meeting clients interior fashion wants and functional needs, should they also encourage them to think more about the sustainable impact of their new kitchen or bathroom?

Architects and specifiers of new build homes are already familiar and accountable meeting targets for energy and water usage of 125 litres per person, as defined by Building Regulations.

There are already calls for this to be reduced to 110 litres, by NGO Waterwise, which is focused on reducing water consumption in the UK.

And this will be the future housing stock which kitchen and bathroom designers will be refurbishing in 10 years’ time, so isn’t it worth considering water-efficient projects now?

We posed these questions about sustainability on our live Twitter chat #KBNConvo. Find out what they had to say.