I assume if you are anything like me when you first saw composite decking and heard that it was eco-friendly, you would have thought yeah right! Spin me another one. I personally decided to make it my quest to find out more about how this decking was made, so I flew to the factories and learned first hand. I wanted to see the whole process right from when the bamboo was cultivated to when the decking comes together. Now after many, many visits and years and years of learning about all things bamboo I can confidently say I can explain to you why bamboo composite decking is the greenest choice.
Let us get a bit technical for a moment, the name BPC (bamboo plastic composite) refers to the basics of how the product is made. The actual composition is 60% bamboo fibre, 30% recycled HDPE (high-density polyethene) from old plastic bottles, plastic bags and so on, 10% UV stabilisers and colourants.
The bamboo fibres come from our flooring factories, it’s the sawdust/bamboo dust that comes from the sanding process that is used. All these waste products (outlined above) are then mixed and under extreme heat, extruded into decking boards.
What is also important to note, it is a double whammy in terms of its eco-friendliness. Let me explain, not only is the decking preventing all those waste products from going into our environment or a hole in the ground it also replaces the alternative, which nine times out of ten is wood i.e. Balau, Garupa, Macerenduba, Ipe or Teak – these are all hardwoods which would do better staying in the ground, than coming out, preventing mass deforestation amongst other obvious reasons.
In the USA it is difficult to get a hardwood deck, as most people are opting for the composite decking alternative, even though it is three times the price. Here in SA, the pricing of hardwood versus composite decking, is fairly similar, a trend that I predict will change soon, as South Africans start becoming more aware of these alternatives, and the product gains traction.
If you are looking for this low maintenance, fade and crack resistant, beautiful decking, that ticks all the boxes, this is the ideal time to invest.
Words by Graeme Soloman Owner Bamboo Warehouse