Plastic into lumber

A trailblazing Canadian company is introducing a new type of peak sustainability! They have started gathering their municipal plastic waste, and turning in into lumber. Planks, beams and much more, made entirely out of recycled plastic and able to fully replace wood in construction. This way it’s not only recycling the plastic, but also saving our forests in the meantime. It is estimated that roughly 80% of the plastic recyclables collected throughout Halifax are now being processed by Goodwood Plastic Products Ltd, and is being turned into plastic lumber.

This plastic lumber can be drilled, nailed, glued, and handled the same way as wooden lumber, meaning that it doesn’t require any special training by the construction workers, adding to the sustainability, and the wood to plastic lumber transition is as painless as possible. An important key difference, however, is the fact that the plastic lumber does not suffer the same type of deterioration as wood.

Picture source: www.recyclingproductnews.com

Halifax Solid Waste Division Manager Andrew Philopoulos stresses that provincial legislators of Nova Scotia are extremely grateful for Goodwood’s initiative, as a large portion of the plastic waste is being taken of their hands. As the business develops, that number will surely grow, maybe even to a 100%.

“We are very, very fortunate here in Nova Scotia to have that local company taking the material… Without them, I think we would find it challenging to find a market for a lot of the plastic packaging that we are collecting.”

quote taken from CBC’s Information Morning

Goodwood also made a name for themselves back in December when they partnered with a Sobeys grocery store and created one of the Canadian nation’s first parking lots made entirely out of post-consumer plastics saved from local landfills, many of them harmful single use plastics. The bulk of Goodwood’s recycled plastic comes from single-use bags, but other single use items, like process food jars and other common consumer packaging, have also been used.

Goodwood Plastic Products Ltd. turns plastics such as shopping bags into plastic lumber. (Submitted by Mike Chassie)
Picture source: www.cbc.ca

This new lumber has, so far, been used to make everything from picnic tables and park benches to agricultural posting and guardrail structures. Goodwood vice president Mike Chassie hopes their business model will inspire other regions to launch similar ventures, thus spreading this positive trend all over Canada, and later on, hopefully, the world.

“We can take this business—the knowledge and our skills—and we can export it and take it to other places… Post-consumer plastic is not going away, so we need to continue to find ways to give it a new life so it becomes a resource, instead of a waste.”

quote taken from CBC’s Information Morning