The most talked about topic

10/03/2011 | The most talked about topic There is no doubt that the issue of sustainability remains the most talked about topic in the world of bathrooms. Water efficiency, energy efficiency, carbon footprint and anything green are discussed in some depth at every meeting of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association. Bathroom product manufacturers are working hard to develop eco-friendly products and have met with considerable success in recent years. There no doubt about that. But getting those products off the shelves and into homes and getting their technologies absorbed into our everyday life is the next big challenge. Bathroom manufacturers who exhibited at the recent ecobuild show ( the BMA was there with our fabulous stand and our giant pink floating tap!) reported heavy footfall and lots of interest in their new products. But the exhibition attracted people who were already ‘in the know.’ They were already aware of the increasing need water efficient and energy efficiency. But how do we get the eco-message to Mr and Mrs Joe Public, and their suppliers and retailers? Mr and Mrs Public seem to be sceptical about bathroom products which are labelled ‘eco’.. They might think that they are automatically more expensive than those without. But they would be wrong. They may also think that an eco-product gives poor performance. And they would be wrong again. Perhaps their thinking has been moulded by a bad experience in the past. Perhaps they installed one of those ‘cistern displacement devices’ ( given away free in shed loads by the water companies) which completely altered the performance of their toilet and caused more problems than expected. Or perhaps they installed an eco shower head on an electric shower and suffered a catastrophic failure. Our big eco challenge in the months and years ahead is to overcome the public’s reticence to embrace the new water and energy efficient technologies. The bathroom industry, at all levels, has to work together to inform and educate. Manufacturers, distributors, retailers and the media have to come together to show that new bathroom products which are installed and used correctly actually do work, actually save water and energy and actually save money. They may also save the planet. Yvonne Orgill, CEO Bathroom Manufacturers Association

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