Envirotimbers is a KwaZulu-Natal based company started by husband and wife team, Alan and Heidi Boyd in 2013. The company sources local plastic waste and processes this waste into plastic timber which is used to manufacture recycled outdoor furniture. Plastic timber can be used in many of the applications that wood is usually used for, since plastic timber behaves like wood and can be shaped using conventional woodworking tools.
Reducing waste to landfill
The company was started with the aim of reducing the amount of plastic waste going to landfill in South Africa and to help create employment. We wanted to do something to help the environment and to create job opportunities. There is a core staff of 20 employees and temporary staff are brought in during busy periods.
Converting plastic waste into plastic timber planks
Envirotimbers source local HDPE/LDPE and PP/BOPP plastic waste which includes plastic from shampoo bottles, plastic bags, chip packets and milk bottles. Plastic is sourced from recycling companies, landfill sites, street traders and hawkers, schools and organizations. Plastic arrives in bales or bags and is them sorted into different catagories and colours. The plastic is then ground into flakes and washed. Once the plastic is clean it is then dried, mixed and extruded into planks. We have initiatives with the Durban and midlands schools and organizations where we swop plastic for furniture, this is something that is encouraging youngsters to start recycling from an early age.
One of our 2 seater garden benches contains around 1200 milk/detergent bottles. Our 6 seater picnic table contains around 4000 milk/detergent bottles
Envirotimbers produce various colours and sizes of plastic timber planks. These are used to manufacture a wide variety of recycled outdoor furniture, including patio sets, benches, picnic tables and chairs. We are continuously developing new products and almost any furniture made of wood, we can do in a plastic timber.
Benefits of plastic timber
Our plastic timber furniture outlasts regular timber, it is rot and algae proof, splinter proof, is easy to clean and requires little maintenance, it is also 100% recyclable. In addition, purchasing a recycled plastic timber product prevents that plastic waste from ending up in rivers, beaches or landfill sites.