This important achievement, believed to be a first for a UK based polymer company, is for the manufacture of ecodek® wood-polymer composite [WPC] decking, and follows years of painstaking development of its design, manufacturing and distribution processes.
A life-cycle assessment programme, undertaken by the BioComposites Centre of Bangor University, considered production of the decking on a cradle to factory gate basis, accounting for all significant materials, transport, energy use and packaging inputs.
Results showed that production of ecodek® actually had a net effect of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere rather than adding to it – hence carbon negative - a huge achievement in modern manufacturing and one that clearly illustrates the company’s environmental credentials.
ecodek® Technical Director Alex Collins, explains: “ecodek® is a wood polymer composite made up of 55% hardwood waste – mainly sawdust and wood shavings – and 40% recycled high density polyethylene – the material that plastic milk bottles are made from. These raw materials give ecodek® a 95% recycled content and it is 100% recyclable, back into composite decking”.
He continued, “Carbon negativity is defined as the reduction of an entity’s carbon footprint to less than neutral, so that the entity in question – in this case ecodek® - has a net effect of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere rather than adding to it. To achieve negativity requires a much more aggressive approach than carbon neutrality, which merely nullifies the effect that an entity has on the environment”.
To get a clearer picture of what this means in the real world of carbon emissions, an average tree locks up roughly 2 kgs of CO2 per year [Forestry Commission]. The total quantity of ecodek® produced in 2016 actually consumed 610 tonnes of CO2. So, a bit of simple arithmetic shows the ecodek® manufacturing process does the same job as 300,000 trees, every year!
The ecodek® system is widely used for the construction of apartment balconies, commercial and domestic terraces and a variety of applications where timber would otherwise be used. The durability, strength and low maintenance of ecodek® make it the preferred choice for these applications.
Find out more at ecodek.co.uk