1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

October 25, 2008

:299 Recycled Plastic Decking

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:299 EcoTip:  Recycled Plastic Lumber (RPL) made from recycled plastic milk jugs and other types of plastic and fillers. Currently it is generally considered non-structural, but is being used successfully for decking, landscaping, benches, sign posts and playground equipment.

I especially like the idea of using it for below ground applications like fence posts or deck piers because it won’t rot. It is also fully recyclable when it is no longer wanted. Some RPL is being made that is a mixture of wood and plastic. It doesn’t hold up as well to moisture or last as long.

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 Additional Information:

According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board:

RPL is clean, nontoxic, and nonporous, and lasts longer than wood. In addition, all types except wood-filled RPL have the following advantages over wood:

  • Moisture and chemical resistant.
  • Graffiti resistant.
  • Splinter free, does not crack.
  • Does not need sealants or preservatives.
  • Colored throughout, does not need paint.
  • Impervious to insects.
  • Flexible, can be curved and shaped.
  • Maintenance free.
  • Does not absorb bacteria.

Additional information is available at the California Integrated Waste Management Board website.

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August 12, 2008

:225 CCA Treated Wood

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:225 EcoTip: CCA stands for chromated copper arsenate. This is a very toxic arsenic containing compound that was used as a wood preservative beginning in the 1940s. By the 1970s it was the most common pressure treated wood preservative being used. This product was voluntarily removed from the market in December 2003.

That means there are a lot of CCA treated decks, play yards and other pressure treated wood uses that continue to leach into the environment and can cause exposure – especially to children that touch these materials then put their hands in their mouths.

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 Additional Information:

EPA provides additional information about CCA treated lumber and how to protect your family from it at http://www.epa.gov/oppad001/reregistration/cca/

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