Plastic bags turned into outdoor decks

Recycled plastic decking can combine the often-desired look of wood with the strength and durability of plastics.

Plastic bag recycled outdoor deck.

Outdoor decks made with recycled plastic bags? That’s right.

If you’re thinking of adding a deck to your home’s outdoor space, you can do yourself and the environment a favour by checking out decking made with recycled plastics.

This versatile decking lets you beautify your home and close the recycling loop. Recycled plastic decking has really grown in popularity in recent years and now is readily available online and at most major home improvement stores.

Recycled plastic decking typically is made from recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastics used for plastic bags, wraps and more.

You’ve probably seen the collection bins for bags and wraps at many grocery chains and large retailers.

Once cleaned, the plastics are heated and combined with other materials such as pigments and UV blockers—and even wood fibres to make “composites”—before being molded into items such as decking planks, posts and spindles.

Recycled plastic decking can combine the often-desired look of wood with the strength and durability of plastics, so it’s an ideal building material for use outdoors.

Beyond providing beautiful gathering spaces for barbecues and celebrations, recycled plastic decks offer many practical advantages:

• low maintenance; recycled plastic decking requires very little

• maintenance; you typically can keep your deck clean simply by sweeping or hosing off dirt and debris, as needed

• long lasting; recycled plastic decks are extremely durable and resistant to decay and weather damage

• because the colour is molded into the material, they don’t require repainting or restaining. Plus they resist stains, cracks, splinters, scuffs, mould, mildew and pesky wood boring insects

• DIY-friendly; some recycled plastic decking includes practical fasteners and hidden decking screws that make installation and repairs easy for handy homeowners

• beyond good looks and convenience, decks made with recycled plastics can leave a lighter environmental footprint

• less frequent replacement; thanks to their durability, recycled plastic decks can last a long time, which helps conserve materials over time

• LEED credits; a deck made with recycled plastics might help a home earn points in the Canada Green Building Council LEED program, potentially contributing to the total points needed to obtain LEED certification.

Recycled plastic decking helps give new life to valuable materials and keeps them out of landfills.

For example, one major manufacturer states that an average 500-square-foot deck made with their plastic composite decking contains 140,000 recycled plastic bags.

And beyond decking, recycled plastic lumber is used to create other outdoor home products such as planters, stairs, fencing, patio furniture and more. Just imagine how good you’ll feel leaning back in that recycled plastic Muskoka chair.

Today’s intelligent plastics are vital to the modern world.

These materials enhance our lifestyles, our economy and the environment.

For more information visit the website intelligentplastics.ca.