What is plastic wood and why is it a better choice than timber?

green forest

Plastic wood is environmentally friendly

It seems a little counter-intuitive to think that plastic wood could ever possibly be more environmentally friendly than real wood, doesn’t it? And yet, it is true!

First of all, using real timber means, of course, that trees need to be cut down, which play an extremely important part in reducing CO2 emissions. Wood also tends to be heavier than plastic which means that delivering and transporting natural wood is more expensive - thus using more fuel and leaving a higher carbon footprint behind.

Unlike WPC composite which contains recycled wood and plastic, plastic wood - also known as eco lumber - is made entirely from recycled plastic. Our plastic wood is made from UK recycled plastic that in the past would have gone to landfill, helping to reduce overall plastic waste.

One of the main benefits of our recycled plastic lumber is that within its makeup are significant quantities of black plastics, a plastic type that is notorious for being difficult to recycle. This increases the green credentials of this product as a use case that improves our environment & saves our natural forests.

Plastic lumber can also be recycled when it is no longer required, so it will never need to end up in landfill.

plastic bottle bag

Cost savings

Not only is plastic wood more environmentally friendly, but it will also save you lots in the long run!

While the initial cost of plastic wood or eco lumber may appear higher than a piece of traditional natural timer of the same size, over the length of the warranty of the plastic wood (15 years) the treated timber could have been replaced up to 3 times. It's not just the replacement cost of the natural timber, in the case of a garden deck you also would need to account for the dismantling & rebuilding of the deck.

Many studies have shown that the extra cost of plastic wood/eco lumber can be recouped within the first 6 years, further years reducing the overall cost in favour of plastic wood entirely

timber VS plastic wood cost graph

Durability

As mentioned previously, plastic wood or eco lumber are a lot more durable than real wood. Plastic wood does not swell or shrink due to exposure to moisture like real wood does. That kind of movement in your structure can damage your garden feature.

Moisture and sunlight exposure can also cause real wood to split and crack, which not only ruins the appearance of the timber but it also weakens it.


This isn’t a problem with plastic lumber as it will not be affected by moisture or dry out in the sunlight.

Note the tubular holes that run throughout the length of a composite decking boards.The primary purpose of these tubular cavities is not to save money, or to make the decking boards lighter & easier to work with, both of which they do. No, their primary purpose is to act as 'slow motion' shock absorbers that relieve the wood component of pressure when it absorbs moisture during the changing seasons in an even manner throughout the cross-section of the plank and allowing the moisture to evaporate once again when the season changes.

This prevents the WPC decking boards from bulging or splitting due to seasonal change, something that natural wood decking boards can be prone to.

Versatility

Just like real wood, plastic lumber is easy to process. It can be cut, drilled and fixed together with ease, meaning garden projects can be completed quickly and effortlessly. Unlike real wood, plastic lumber offers another advantage in that it does not splinter. This means it is a lot safer to use by both tradesmen and DIYers.

Maintenance free

Forget about repairing, cleaning, painting, oiling, staining or restoring your timber every 6-12 months or so. With composite plastic, it’s literally a case of lay it and leave it, as it will never need any form of treatment, saving you time and energy and giving you more spare time to do what you love.

 

pool decking

Plastic wood 150mm x 50mm (6" x 2")

The ideal replacement for traditional 6" x 2" timber. Garden decking frames have traditionally been made from 6x2 lengths of timber with 100mm x 100mm (4" x 4") (see below) as supporting posts where required.

We offer a direct plastic wood replacement giving the advantages of a 15 year warranty against rot, insect infestation and splintering.

Why use traditional timber for your decking frame when you can use our plastic wood, especially when the decking is WPC composite that will outlast a traditional wooden frame.

Plastic wood 100mm x 100mm (4" x 4")

The ideal eco lumber or plastic wood replacement for 4" x 4" timber posts. Our 100mm x 100mm x 3400mm plastic wood posts are ideal for such as decking frames & fencing posts. In fact anywhere you would use a piece of 4" x 4" timber you can choose to use our plastic wood replacement.

With a 15 year warranty against rot, insect infestation or splintering, eco lumber is the no maintenance option.

What composite decking products do we offer?

We offer five composite decking ranges, each with its own special benefits and matching accessories: Classic, Excel, Premium, Supreme and Rustic. Check out our decking ranges, or read our other blog to help you choose the right product for you.

recycling sign blue