Best of Earth911 Podcast: Trex Blends Recycling and Engineering to Replace Traditional Wood
Leslie Adkins, vice president of marketing and ESG development at Trex, joins the conversation to discuss how the company pioneered a recycled alternative to lumber for decks, fences, and other applications. Trex was founded in 1996 on the premise that there must be a better use of the “mountain of single-use plastic film packaging generated every day that is not being recycled.” The company developed a process for making a wood decking alternative that consists of 95% recycled polyethylene film blended with sawdust made mostly of reclaimed wood. The result is decking that looks like wood but lasts at least two and a half times longer.
Trex is one of the largest buyers of #2 and #4 polyethylene film in the U.S. through a novel commercial recycling program that pays retailers to collect and send the often hard-to-recycle films used to wrap palletized packages for shipping, along with plastic shopping bags, bubble wrap and those troublesome air pillows used as padding in e-commerce boxes. Upcycling our plastic waste to contribute to a more sustainable built environment is an intriguing solution to our current waste problems. You can learn more at trex.com.
This podcast originally aired on April 20, 2022.