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Manufacturer urges councils to buy recycled plastic products

A manufacturer that uses recycled plastics has criticised local authorities and other public bodies for not help to create a marketplace for its products.

North Wales-based Plastecowood produces Smartawood, an alternative to wood made from recycled plastics, for the manufacture of road bollards, sign posting, fencing materials, railings and public seating.

The company has spent more than six years and invested millions of pounds developing its manufacturing system and employs 15 people in Bodelwyddan.

Its products have been bought by organisations such as the RSPB, Mansfield Council, Livin Housing Association, Lancaster Town Council, Colchester City Council and Cammel Laird.

But commercial director Paul Segal said the orders from local authorities, whose waste it was using, were not in sufficient or consistent volumes to guarantee the firm’s security.

“Organisations such as universities have miles of paths, walkways, car parking, outdoor seating and decking around their buildings, and could be buying our product and supporting an environmentally friendly, sustainable British industry,” he said.

“For every tonne of sorted mixed plastic waste that is sent to us, one tonne of product is manufactured, leaving no waste to go to landfill or to be exported or incinerated at our end.”

Its wood replacement material is manufactured at an assembly plant in lengths of up to 3.4m and can be turned into many products.

The material is waterproof, so avoids the problems created for timber manufacturers now that treatment by creosote and chromated copper arsenate has been banned due to toxic chemical leaching.

Segal said it was difficult to trace whether wood products came from a sustainable source.

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