(Newswire.net -- July 8, 2016) Anaheim, CA -- Lumber and plastic are clearly completely different materials with completely different structural qualities, however one man and many companies realized that recycled plastic can be transformed into a product that is just as valuable and useful as tradition lumber, producing high density polyethylene plastic lumber.
The virgin grade of HDPE plastic is most often used for milk jugs, plastic bottles, plastic bags, shampoo bottles, laundry detergent containers, and shopping carts.
“[It] is one of the most pervasive plastic types. It has an excellent resistance to chemicals, making it the go-to plastic for detergents and cleaners,” according to Compak Videos.
Recycled HDPE is commonly used to make supplies such as pipes, buckets, supports and of course plastic lumber. It is a material known for being very strong for its weight and exceptional resistance to most solvents, making it a perfect candidate for a lumber alternative. UV additives are added to the recycled HDPE material to allow the plastic lumber to be used outdoors for extended periods of time.
Rutgers Professor Thomas Nosker is the original inventor of plastic lumber. He first thought of the idea over thirty years ago when he was faced with the challenge of what to do with a growing pile of plastic. Nearly twelve years later after a few failed attempts on how to be more resourceful with HDPE plastic Nosker and his colleague, Richard Lampo, eventually came up with a formula that worked.
“We combined HDPE with polystyrene from old Big Mac containers,” Nosker said to Ruetgers News. “At a specific proportion, the blended plastics gained strength because of the way tiny plastic particles interlocked”.
Today Bedford Technology, a recycled plastic products manufacturer, has become the experts in making plastic lumber that is not only produced from post-consumer recycled content, but is authentic looking and durable for any project. Bedford produces three different types of HDPE lumber: SelectForce® (unfilled recycled HDPE), FiberForce® (fiberglass reinforced recycled HDPE lumber), and BarForce® (‘rebar’ reinforced recycled HDPE lumber). Each one of these is unique because of their different level of ability to hold shape and resist damage, with the BarForce® product being the strongest and most rigid.
“After adding fiberglass reinforcement to produce our FIBERFORCE® plastic lumber products, we take the next step in our product offering by encapsulating full length fiber reinforced polymer rebar to create a high strength recycled plastic commercial grade product,” says Bedford. “Examples where [it] has been used are; retaining walls, pedestrian bridges, guide walls, marine fenders, Wales and piles, etc”.
However companies or individuals should be very careful when buying HDPE lumber because not all suppliers or manufacturers are honest about what they are producing. Not all plastic lumber is the same. For example, recently another plastic lumber manufacturing company claimed that all of their plastic lumber was made of recycled HDPE content. The Federal Trade Commission alleged that those claims were false due to administrative complaints. See FTC claim, "the complaint states, about eight percent of [supplier] products contained no post-consumer recycled content" here.
“The FTC takes environmental marketing very seriously, and works hard to ensure that consumers are not misled when it comes to ‘green’ claims,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in an official FTC press release. “Businesses should consult the FTC’s Green Guides to understand what environmental clams they legally can and cannot make.”
It’s very easy to pass off a product as 100% recyclable material when it is really not. Being honest about the product is beneficial to not only the producer and the consumer, but also the environment. Bedford Technology scours the area for raw material from recyclers, and the blue trash can rececptical you use for recyclables may just end up as a boardwalk or chair.
HDPE plastic lumber is more expensive than traditional lumber but it is well worth this extra investment. Most wood lumber products require regular maintenance, including: cleaning, sanding, painting, staining or coating. Because of its exceptional durability and UV stabilization, the HDPE plastic lumber does not require this maintenance, and it also doesn’t decay, rot, split, splinter, attract termites, or mold under water. As for traditional wood, it has all of these problems, making it expensive to keep it safe and functional for large scale projects or commercial use.
Compared to traditional lumber, HDPE drastically cuts the cost of labor, maintenance, and replacement without harsh treatments or chemicals; and the Bedford recycled lumber materials comes with a 50 year warranty. HDPE lumber is used for a variety of things such as playgrounds, benches, decks, bridges, door frames, fences, and railings.
Recycled lumber is part of a “closed loop” recycling cycle. This cycle starts with the original HDPE resin used to produce plastic bottles and other items. Step 2 is recycling this material and producing HDPE plastic lumber. Step 3 would be to recycle the plastic lumber after the 50 year lifecycle into more recycled lumber. Thus it is a closed loop of recycled materials.
The benefits of choosing to use HDPE lumber over traditional wood lumber goes far beyond just being very environmentally friendly.
About Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc
Since 1975, Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc. has provided high quality plastic sheet, rod and tube materials to industry. Over 80 plastic material types in a huge range of sizes, all in stock and ready to ship. Cut to size parts and near net shapes are a specialty. When you need quality materials, and need them now, go to Industrial Plastic Supply.
Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc2240 S. Dupont Drive
Anaheim, CA 92806