With summer steadily approaching, several homeowners may be gearing up to tackle an outdoor deck project just in time to enjoy the warm weather and fire up the barbeque. For those of you who are considering your options, now you can make an eco-friendly one—with recycled plastics. Growing in popularity over the past few years, this versatile decking option is made from recycled high-density polyethylene plastics which are heated and combined with other materials such as pigments and UV blockers—and even wood fibers to make "composites"—before being molded into items such as decking planks, posts and spindles.
Recognized as the “greenest” leader in the industry, Trex Company (Winchester, VA), the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking and railing, claims that much of its plastic comes from 1.5 billion plastic shopping bags, or about 7 out of every 10 in the United States, which makes them the largest plastic bag recyclers in the U.S. They also don't use any virgin wood, using mill waste and old pallets instead. The plastic and sawdust is combined to form decking that is attractive, long-lasting and maintenance-free.