The material Realise Futures Eco Furniture use to make outdoor furniture is made from recycled plastic. We are often asked questions about this material so we thought it would be helpful to show some of the more frequently asked questions and the answers.
Q. What is the difference between the material you use and ordinary wood?
A. The material we use is made from recycled plastic and comes to us in “planks” in a number of different sizes or “profiles.” These planks look similar to wood but on close inspection the difference can be seen.
Q. How is the material made?
A. The material is made from waste soft plastic such as carrier bags and plastic milk bottles. The waste is washed to remove impurities, shredded into small pieces and then ground. This process produces pellets which look similar to black peppercorns. The pellets are then heated to a very high temperature and forced into moulds. The mould is removed when cool and the plank is then ready for use.
Q. Can these planks be machined in the same way as wood?
A. Yes they can. They can be sawn, planed, drilled and shaped just like wood.
Q. The furniture you make sometimes comes in different colours. How do you change the colour of the material?
A. The colouring occurs during the manufacture of the plank. Colours normally available are red, yellow, green and blue. In theory any colour can be produced but the manufacturers would need volume sales to justify making it.
Q. Your furniture is solid but expensive. My local DIY store sells a wide variety of furniture at much lower prices. Why can the DIY stores sell so much more cheaply?
A. Our furniture is designed for commercial or heavy domestic use and once installed is rarely moved. The furniture supplied by DIY stores is designed for domestic use and can be easily moved. Our furniture will last many times longer. As a matter of interest garden furniture made from hardwoods are considerably more expensive than those made from recycled plastic.
Q. The Realise Futures Eco Furniture range is wide but there is a need for a seat with a slightly higher back. Can you do this?
A. Yes we can supply furniture to customer’s specifications. The only limiting factor is that we must be satisfied the product is fit for purpose and safe.
Q. What are the benefits of furniture made from recycled plastic over those made from wood?
A. There are many benefits using this material; especially for the commercial user such as for example, a local authority. The main ones are listed below:
It never needs treatment with preservatives or paint.
Q. What happens to the furniture when it comes to the end of its useful life, however long that may be?
- It is impervious to fluids including paints. Damage through vandalism is reduced to a minimum.
- It never splinters.
- It can be supplied in a number of colours.
- It is long lasting; the manufacturers of the planks state the material will last at least 100 years.
A. The furniture is disassembled and the recycled plastic goes through the same process as described previously. It is 100% recyclable and can be made into new planks.