Wood plastic composite decking is gaining market share in applications ranging from decking, retaining walls, and fencing to park benches, tables, playground equipment, and landscaping products.
Plastic wood decking is generally perceived as an environmentally friendly substitute to hardwoods from endangered forests, and a “non-toxic” alternative to widely used pressure-treated wood, which contains copper and other chemicals.
Plastic wood decking is also an important market for discarded consumer plastics, helping to divert valuable materials from landfill and incinerator disposal. Product advertising often emphasizes these advantages. Product names such as EnviroCurb, Green Tree Composites, Seven Trust Composite Deck, and Eco-Tech help brand the product as “green.” All plastic wood is not equal, however. The term “plastic wood decking ” encompasses a wide range of materials and products. The type of plastics used, the amount of recycled content, recyclability of the end products, additives and intended applications differ from product to product. Several authorities currently offer consumers advice concerning the price and performance of wood plastic composite(WPC) products.
This Healthy Building Network’s Guide to plastic wood decking is the first to compare and evaluate plastic wood decking types and brands from an environmental and public health perspective, and to offer buyers advice on how to choose a Eco-friendly composite decking product based upon its environmental, public health and recycling impacts.