Is Composite Decking an Ecological Choice?

Traditional wood decking brings with it a number of negative environmental effects. Tropical hardwoods can contribute to rain forest deforestation and habitat degradation. Using sustainably sourced fast-growth timber from ethically managed plantations is a step in the right direction, but it can often be difficult to ensure that timber branded as sustainable is actually sourced or harvested sustainably.

In recent years composite decking materials have become increasingly popular as an alternative to wooden decking. These products have become cheaper, more durable, and more eco-friendly. Engineered to look and feeling like natural timber, composite decking offers many of the benefits of wood decking without the adverse environmental effects.

The majority of sustainable composite decking boards are made from over 90% recycled and reclaimed timber and plastic products. Composite boards use reclaimed timber, bamboo, sawdust and other wood waste that would otherwise end up in landfill or in an incinerator. Not only does this help to reduce the volume of material going to landfill, it also reduces demand for virgin wood. This helps reduce deforestation and habitat degradation, preserving the world’s forests and lowering reliance on logging and timber plantations.

Composite decking products also include a range of recycled plastics including plastic bags, bottles and wrapping materials. Composite decking boards are particularly beneficial when it comes to recycling plastic bags. Generally, plastics can only be down-cycled. This means that plastic bottles, for example, cannot be recycled back into plastic bottles. They can only be recycled into lighter plastic materials like plastic bags. With the advent of recycled building materials, plastic bags can now be up-cycled into products like composite decking boards.

Recycling these products into decking boards helps to keep huge amounts of plastic out of landfill. It also helps to reduce the amount of plastic washing into the ocean since these plastics are being given a second useful lease on life.

High-quality composite decking products are made using an eco-friendly manufacturing process. Unlike pressure-treated wood, no toxic chemicals are used to treat the materials. The manufacturing process uses minimal energy and water and produces few waste materials. The recycled materials are carefully processed to remove impurities and ensure a high-quality product that is long-lasting and requires minimal maintenance.

Composite decking requires significantly less maintenance than traditional wood decking. It doesn’t require regular oiling, painting or sealing treatments needed to maintain wood. It also doesn’t need chemical treatments to prevent damage from termites, rot and mold. This means that composite decking requires less potentially harmful, fossil-fuel based chemicals for cleaning and maintenance, which is great for the environment.

In general, composite decking has a much longer lifespan than traditional wood decking. Composite decking is less susceptible to pests, rot and mold and less likely to warp, split or splinter. This means you’ll be giving your deck a longer life and will require fewer materials for repairs or replacement.

So, it is pretty obvious that choosing composite decking could easily be the best choice for your next decking project.

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