Firm behind 'rank' plastic pollution inspired by lockdown to 'go green'

Steve Bowden, commercial director for DMD Group, has made a real effort to "go green" after lockdown

Steve Bowden, commercial director for DMD Group, has made a real effort to "go green" after lockdown - Credit: DMD Group

A construction company fed up with the industry's "rank" use of plastic has vowed to clean up its act after the pandemic gave directors "time to think" about their environmental impact.

DMD Group, based in Norwich but operating nationwide, was putting up over 1000m worth of brand new plastic fascias, soffits and rainwater guttering on houses every week before the pandemic.

On a "good week", sometimes the number doubled.

Steve Bowden, commercial director for the 50-employee strong company, said: "We primarily do planned maintenance for social and council housing across the UK - but the way we were operating before the pandemic was madness.

"We'd be taking down all this plastic guttering and just replacing it with brand new plastic guttering. Then we'd send our waste off to landfill and pay lots of money for someone else to separate it. It was rank, and it just didn't make sense."

Since the middle of last year, after the first national lockdown, the company has vowed to "go green".

After investing around £30,000 in facilities to manage their own waste in an environmentally-friendly way, they also partnered with a manufacturer that makes recycled plastic.

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Now, when they do a repair job, if the customer consents, the replacement plastic is made from recycled rather than "virgin" plastic.

Mr Bowden said: "Last year during lockdown I had a lot of time to think. It was a really rough year for everyone, and I lost both my mum and my nan.

"But also, I could see around me how pristine everything was becoming because people were stuck in their houses.

"It got me thinking about the health of the planet as a whole, and I realised we could no longer in good conscience continue as we were. We had to clean up our act.

"Our quotes might be more expensive, but you have to think - do those white van men who do the job for a lot cheaper care about where their waste goes?

"I know it's easier for us as a bigger company, but everyone has a role to play in this."

DMD Group, now 17 years old, is run by the Peruzzi family, with Dean Peruzzi acting as managing director.

Mr Bowden, meanwhile, grew up in Mile Cross but now lives in Taverham.