Earlier this year we managed to get funding to build two raised herb beds. After some pretty extensive research we decided to go with recycled plastic lumber.
What is Recycled Plastic Lumber?
It’s just like timber but it’s made from 100% recycled post-industrial plastic, diverted from landfill. Because it’s plastic based, it’s rot proof, impact resistant, and algae and moss resistant. Plus, graffiti can simply be wiped clean as the profiles have a skin that paint cannot penetrate.
We bought our plastic lumber from the lovely folk at Kedel. They scrutinised our plans and offered all sorts of useful assistance. We’d definitely recommend them – contact details can be found at the end of this post.
We were really impressed with this tough, durable, maintenance free alternative to timber. Aside from being environmentally friendly it also has a life span many times that of wood without the need for treatment.
What are the benefits?
Reduction of energy consumption by 66%
Production of only a third of the sulphur dioxide
Production of only half of the nitrous oxide
Reduction of water usage by nearly 90%
Reduction of carbon dioxide generation by two-and-a-half times
1.8 tonnes of oil are saved for every tonne of recycled polythene produced
Lasts 5 times longer than timber
Crack, chip and splinter proof
Less Flammable than timber
Insect and animal resistant
Labour saving – minimal maintenance
Easy to clean
Can be worked like timber
Holds screws and fittings well
Reduced Whole Life Costs
Oh, and it looks cool too. It’s like this sleek space-aged wonder material.
Any other advice?
We don’t have on site water so we rely on either rain or water carried from other residential flats (not ideal).
When we built the beds we put a membrane over the soil. This was intended to let water into the bed but prevent it from drying out. It works really well! As you’ll see in the picture above, you just need to cut a whole in the membrane for your plants and you’re good to go.
Where can I buy plastic lumber?
We ordered ours from the lovely folk at Kedel. They helped us tweak the design for our raised bed too so that it was structurally sound and were able to provide all sorts of other useful advice. I would definitely recommend them to other groups.
To contact them call 01282 861 325 or email email@example.com.
These Synthetic Wood Tongue and Groove 100x18mm boards come in various colours such black, light oak, mahogany, cedar, white, pebble grey and anthracite grey. And have the highest level of UV protection. Great for gates and gate inserts.
Recycled Plastic Planks 150 x 25mm - A popular profile used for raised beds, planters, garden edging, fascia boards, barge boards, and quayside buffers. Tough, solid board that will never rot or need preservatives or paint
A traditional style Picnic Table, but not made from wood though often mistaken for it. These picnic tables will never rot, crack, or splinter. Made from Plastic Wood manufactured from recycled CD cases and old coat hangers. Colours are UV protected against fading, are non-absorbent, hygienic and easy to clean. Remove graffiti with WD40 and ultra fine wire wool. Perfect for anyone wanting the aesthetics of wood but none of the maintenance issues.
Kedel's Tear Drop Tongue and Groove boards/profiles will never rot, warp, splinter or crack. They are UV protected to the highest standard to minimise fading. A far more cost effective material compared to wood. Comes in various colours and is made from crushed recycled CD cases.