On average 5-10% of building materials are wasted on construction sites during builds.
This is down to a number of reasons but some of the key issues are:
Depending on what material this is it could become rather costly. Imagine a small bathroom refurbishment on a residential home. The new bespoke bath has been fitted and then an accident occurs and it has been chipped or damaged, subsequently needing to be replaced which means a new lead time on a replacement causing delays in the original schedule and not to mention the cost, which on a small project could mean the difference in making a profit or not.
Alternatively there could be a large commercial build in a school or somewhere similar. Large amounts of equipment being carried throughout the building and being manoeuvred through doorways could mean maybe 15% of the door frames in the entire building need replacing after being dented or knocked. Maybe there is a large sheet of curtain walling that has been chipped resulting in the whole piece needing a replacement. On a large scale project these overheads can add up and suddenly your wastage has become a real cost.
Temporary protection for construction is now so comprehensive that near enough any material or application has a solution where it can be protected while on the site, being stored, during construction and while other works are ongoing after it has been fitted.
So the bottom line is no matter how big or small a project, damage to materials and its subsequent waste can mean costly replacements and also delays, not to mention the recycling of waste which is more difficult with some materials than others. Temporary protection materials are clearly marked with their recycling methods and the majority can be re-used where something like a broken bath or handrail cannot.
So on your next project take a look and see whether you can afford to not protect your site and its materials.