Plastic has a bad reputation nowadays, a victim of it’s own success. It’s such a useful product, very cheap to make with millions of uses. Because it is so cheap, it’s economical for things that are used once and then thrown away. Packaging being the thing most of us are aware of.
The problem is that the thrown away plastic gets dumped into the environment and then causes all sorts of problems. We’ve all seen the horrific effects on marine and bird life. British Recycled Plastics take a different approach and convert that waste into useful and very durable products.
When I say durable, the lifespan of their products is hard to accurately state but is certainly decades. That’s without any care or maintenance!
Recycled Plastic Bench Seat
We’ve gone through two wooden bench seats here in 10 years. The first was admittedly a cheap one but the second was quite expensive. Despite annual treatments, the weather killed them both.
My concern was that plastic is lightweight and I’d visions of the bench flying in the air in a storm. The good news is that is not. It weighs over 50 kilos, actually heavier and denser than wood, so it’s not going anywhere.
The bench arrived partially assembled but literally only took ten minutes to put together. Very much a two person job obviously. I did look at the instructions which come with it although it’s obvious.
So far it’s had strong sunlight, heavy rain and wind attacking – none of which has had any effect. Only complaint comes from the cat, it’s not any use for claw sharpening. She likes dozing on it though and gets quite grumpy when we move her so we can sit and watch the sunset.
British Recycled Plastics produce a wide range of benches along with picnic tables etc. Ideal for pub gardens, parks and so forth. They’re not cheap but, taking into account the very long lifespan and lack of maintenance or replacement required, the cost of ownership is actually low over time. You can see the full range here: British Recycled Plastic
I’ve also got had raised beds from British Recycled Plastic as well. My wooden raised beds are reaching their end of life now. The wood, despite being treated, is rotting and they’re starting to fall apart.
My beds are 3M x 1M x 300mm high made up of 1M sections. You can get a wide range of sizes and even design your own treating the material like wood. British Recycled Plastic offer some guidance on special designs if you telephone them.
Standard kits come in two widths of 500mm or 1000mm; three heights – 300mm for kneeling, 600mm for seated access and 750mm for users who prefer not to bend; and six standard lengths – 1 metre, 1.5 metres, 2 metres, 2.5 metres, 3 metres and 3.5 metres. The sections are joined together with heavy steel bolts so the beds are very stable and won’t fall apart.
Assembling the Plastic Raised Beds
This was very easy but because of the weight it’s best done where you want them to live. It took about 20 minutes for the first one and half that for the second. That’s not counting finding the right spanner.. I must tidy up the workshop.
Setting Up the Beds
The ground needs to be level, luckily I had a patch of level grass just where I wanted them. Once constructed the pasture under was forked, but not turned. All I did was to insert the fork into the soil and lever to open it up.
Then a layer of cardboard went down followed by a good 150mm thick layer of strawy sheep manure. On top of that a layer of home made compost. Because everything was bone dry at the time, the beds got a very heavy watering. Eventually the soil / manure will settle down and I’ll top the beds up with more compost.
The only problem I had was the rhubarb plants in their rotting wood box beds were in the way. These are being moved in the autumn so I just set the bed up around them for now.
I believe these recycled plastic products are excellent products that will literally last a lifetime. They’re not cheap, but quality never is cheap. Perhaps most importantly, they convert a very problematic waste stream into useful, long life products. The video below really sums it up.