HS2 in Bucks & Oxfordshire update: HS2 contractor cuts single use plastic with recycled bottles for shoes

Our construction partner for the Chilterns Tunnels and Colne Valley Viaduct, Align joint venture, has taken an innovative step to reduce the use of single use plastic on its construction sites.

Analysis of Align’s purchasing data showed that the joint venture, which is made up of three companies, Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick, was using over 100,000 pairs of disposable blue plastic overshoes in indoor areas at its construction sites every month.

Neil Hancox, Align’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Director, who spotted the data trend collaborated with the company’s family-run supplier of construction consumables to come up with an innovative and more environmentally friendly solution. Within a matter of weeks, Crawley-based OnSite Support Ltd returned with a prototype shoe made from recycled Taslan.

Each pair of the newly designed overshoes contains recycled material from six plastic bottles. The product is also fully washable and has an anti-slip sole to offer better grip on slippery surfaces. The new shoes, which have been developed in three different sizes to meet the needs of male and female workers, are now in use across our Align construction sites. Within the first month, the shoe covers had proven effective in reducing littering as well as contributing to Align’s target to ensure that 70% of plastic is recycled or reused by the end of the project.

OnSite Support is among the latest innovation-led SMEs to join our supply chain. Over 2,000 companies have already won work on the project, 70% of which are SMEs and over 95% are based in the UK.

If you have a question about HS2 or our works, please contact our HS2 Helpdesk team on 08081 434 434 or email hs2enquiries@hs2.org.uk