Raised Beds in Mixed Recycled Plastic


17 reasons for using recycled plastic lumber 
when making a raised bed

SEPTEMBER 14, 2011

by 

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
  • Vandal Resistant
  • Crack, chip and splinter proof
  • Less Flammable than timber
  • Insect and animal resistant
  • Labour saving – minimal maintenance
  • UV resistant
  • 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 info@kedel.co.uk.

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