WRAP launch new initiative

Press Releasein Parks

WRAP launches new initiative

Research reveals cost savings of switching from wood to recycled plastic

To coincide with IOG SALTEX 2004, WRAP - the Waste & Resources Action Programme - is revealing details of a new initiative which aims to increase awareness of a range of products derived from recycled plastic in the estates management and sports and leisure industries. The initiative is being launched on the back of recent independent research which shows that significant whole life cost savings can be achieved by replacing products traditionally made from wood, with those made from recycled plastic.

The market for recycled plastic products is growing rapidly and the open space management sector is one of a number of industries where the use of recycled materials is generating increasing interest. WRAP's new initiative will focus on products that are particularly suited for use in estates management and sports and leisure settings. These include fencing, walkways, signage, bollards, outdoor furniture and specialist sports items such as golf tees.

Research conducted on behalf of WRAP has shown that recycled plastic products respond positively to the ageing conditions of UV and moisture exposure, making them ideal for harsh and wet conditions, where traditionally wood would rot and need to be replaced on a regular basis.

In addition, the research found that a walkway made from recycled plastic can offer savings of up to 50% per annum in whole life cost savings.

As well as offering cost savings, some of the key reasons behind the growth in demand for these products are the performance benefits that they offer. These include:

Durability - products have an expected lifespan of at least four times that of wood, with little visible wear

Labour saving - significant savings in labour due to reduced maintenance and replacement requirements

Rot proof and algae proof - little or no requirement for maintenance, painting or preservatives

Vandal resistant - due to its surface texture the product is more resistant to graffiti and more resilient to other forms of vandalism including fire

These are just some of the many reasons why WRAP believes that the open space management industry will be a growth market for recycled plastic products. Organisations are coming under increasing pressure to demonstrate that they are taking a sustainable approach to their purchasing and switching to recycled products is a simple way to demonstrate this. In this case, the products are produced from materials recovered from waste including plastic bottles, CD cases and vending machine drinks cups.

Peter Skelton, WRAP's Material Development Manager (Plastics) comments: "The open space management industry is a key target market for WRAP so taking a stand at the IOG SALTEX exhibition provides us with a great opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of recycled plastic as an alternative to wood and the impressive range of products that are available today.

Peter adds: "The research we commissioned has shown that although recycled products can have greater up-front costs, their longevity and durability make them a more cost-effective option over the long term. We believe that when the cost, performance and environmental benefits are taken into consideration, there is a very strong case for specifying these products and urge anyone wishing to find out more to visit WRAP's website at www.wrap.org.uk."

For general enquiries regarding WRAP, please contact Pat Jennings, Media Relations Manager (Trade & Environmental) 01295 819900 or email: pat.jennings@wrap.org.uk

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