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WRAP Study

WRAP* Study Comparing Costs of Recycled Plastic to Timber in Construction of a Walkway

Recycled Plastic Payback

This example of comparative costs between timber and Recycled plastic lumber, is taken from a walkway, but its obvious conclusions can be applied to most situations where the two materials would be permanently outdoors, continually at the mercy of the elements.

Assumptions

Timber solution must be replaced every 7 years. Maintenance on timber is required annually from year 2. Inflation is not applied to the annual cost of maintenance. The average annual cost of maintenance of materials and labour is £176 per annum.

Average Cost

Per 100 metres of walkway over the time shown:
Timber £1300 – Recycled Plastic £370

Conclusion

Although the initial outlay for recycled plastic is higher, the long-term costs are very significantly lower compared to treated timber.

* WRAP is an independent body set up in 2000 to help recycling take off in the UK and to create a market for recycled materials. WRAP is funded by all four governments across the UK and the EU and run programmes in England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland.