Plastics and Recycling – Environmentally Friendly Usage

Plastic and plastic packaging has been at the forefront of the recycling and environmental preservation debate for as long as anyone can remember. The general narrative today is that plastics are damaging and destroying the environment due to careless littering, consumption and reliance on the material.

However, there is another side to the plastics argument that most people do not hear about, and while consumption, littering and plastic reliance must be dealt with responsibly, plastics have been a force for good as well when it comes to recycling. 

This blog post will give you the other side of the argument by exploring how plastics have historically benefited the environment through recycling and plastic timber products.


Recycling Is Industry Standard

As mentioned in our previous blog on plastics and the environment, B&I Polycontainers recycles their plastic byproducts and takes their environmental sustainability obligations to the country and society very seriously. Recycling byproducts and other waste material is company policy, and makes sense socially, ethically and financially. 

However, we have yet to speak in detail about where exactly these recycled plastic byproducts go, what they’re used for and why it’s actually helping the environment rather than negatively affecting it.

One of the most popular uses of recycled plastic that most people take for granted is the plastic timber industry.


The Deforestation Problem

When is the last time you heard the news talk about ‘deforestation’? Chances are, not very recently.

Deforestation occurs when humans (that’s us) harvest timber from natural forests. This drives the local wildlife and fauna closer to the brink of extinction as they rely on forests for their survival. Due to the sheer number of humans on the planet, growing trees in order to sustain the demand for timber is an unsustainable proposition, and many natural habitats have suffered as a result of uncontrolled deforestation.

Thankfully, this trend has been slowing down in recent years thanks to plastics and recycling.


Introducing Plastic Timber

If you take a moment to look around your house, garden and neighborhood you may be surprised to find many items that are made from recycled plastics instead of timber and other resources. 

Chairs, tables, benches, counters, toys, playgrounds and a multitude of other products that previously required a lot of timber now use recycled plastics instead. One of the major components of these recycled products is known as plastic timber.

Plastic timber is a product that is created to function similarly to actual timber and is used in the same manner for the same products. It is used across industries in both the commercial and civilian sectors, from outdoor decks to industrial pallets.

One such company that B&I Polycontainers works with for responsible, eco-friendly plastics production and recycling is Tufflex Plastics Products, who take in plastic bottle waste which they efficiently recycle into plastic timber. These products, which have a wide range of applications are more durable, long lasting and resistant to weather conditions than timber itself!


Here are a few benefits that plastic timber enjoys over regular timber


  • They do not absorb moisture and hence will not rot;
  • Are very UV resistant and can be left outside indefinitely;
  • Easy to clean with steam or high pressure;
  • Very robust and do not break or splinter easily;
  • Planks have to be screwed together unlike wooden ones which are often nailed – hence they are less prone to coming apart;
  • Items made from plastic timber are heavy and hence are not easy to steal;
  • Low fire risk as they do not burn easily; 
  • As they are not easy to burn they are also not taken as firewood;
  • Resistant to most fuels, oils, chemicals and salt water;
  • Beams or planks can be colour coded if necessary;
  • Do not harbour insects or other contaminants as the plastic is inert;
  • “Environmentally friendly” as they are made from recycled materials that would otherwise go to landfill


More About Tufflex


Tufflex Plastic Products is a focused plastics recycling business situated in Germiston on the outskirts of Johannesburg. The company processes both post-industrial and post-consumer polyolefin plastic waste, the latter being washed in a state-of-the-art German wash-plant before being converted into pellets for supply back into the converting industry.

In addition to normal recycling Tufflex also produces a comprehensive range of plastic timber which is used as a cost-effective alternative to wood in a variety of applications including furniture, pallets, fencing, dog kennels, dustbins and walkway decking. 


Plastic Bottle Production – The Responsible Way

By preserving our environment for the future, we help preserve the future for ourselves. 

As a responsible South African plastic bottle manufacturer, B&I recognises the environmental issues relating to production of plastic products, and has contracts with all major plastic recycling companies to ensure that the scrap is used in a responsible manner and not landfilled or just dumped into our environment.


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