In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, construction activity is rapidly increasing. The region has the chance to pioneer new environmentally friendly building techniques during this building boom, bringing it one step closer to realising its net-zero goals. Increased use of recycled materials in building, particularly recycled plastics, is essential to achieving these objectives.
Traditional building materials leave a significant environmental legacy, including clay bricks, cement, and steel. They require a lot of carbon to manufacture, ship, and install during construction projects. Around 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were produced by the building materials industry in 2019. The sector has made reducing that footprint a top focus, and the GCC nations might lead the way in this regard.
To assess the environmental and economic effects of nine prospective recycled plastic building material uses in the GCC, By 2040, we project that the GCC countries alone could reduce CO2 emissions by 2 to 2.5 percent of those anticipated from the construction materials sector. Recycling plastics would not only have a beneficial environmental impact, but it would also promote innovation, generate up to 13,000 employment, and increase GDP by between US$2 and US$3 billion by 2040.
If recovered plastics are to have a significant environmental impact, all important stakeholders must act to boost their use in building. To advance technological advancements for recycled plastics use in building materials, the GCC countries should establish specialised innovation hubs, set regulatory standards and targets, and allot funding from the public and private sectors to support investments in the use of recycled plastic. These investments and efforts will help the region meet its sustainability goals, promote innovation, and become known as a technology innovator.