Average UK recycled content in plasterboard reached 61 per cent in 2008, making the UK one of the best performing European countries.
Data from the Gypsum Products Development Association showed the recycled content rose from 55 per cent the previous year. Recycled content is derived from secondary fibre in the plasterboard liner, post consumer gypsum recovered from the construction industry or by-product gypsum from industrial processes.
GPDA general secretary Crispin Dunn-Maynell said: The increase in recycled content illustrates UK plasterboard manufacturers commitment to sustainability and the efforts that are being made to increase this aspect of drywall. It now places the UK as one of the best performing European countries for recycled content. However, there is no complacency and efforts are being made to increase this proportion still further in 2009.
The news comes after the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs published its report Plasterboard: Sustainability impacts and initiatives saying that future developments in plasterboard could restrict future recyclability. New styles of plasterboard such as foam backed boards, which are more thermal efficient, could become standardised across the entire range.
But unless new technologies are put in place recycling will become much more difficult and expensive and definitely looks problematic.
Mr Dunn-Maynell added: As the market develops, demand for specialist board increases, and because they are made for specific performances, additives to achieve these characteristics may indeed make recycling more difficult. However, this should not be used as a reason to stifle innovation of new products. Recycling is in the forefront of the manufacturers objectives when new products are developed.
Defra said research into the potential impact of future waste arisings and the technical viability of recycling the new plasterboard needs to be done.