I have been interested in resource reuse and recycling for decades. When I came across an emerging marketable product that combined reuse of plastic and conservation of forests, I knew the public should know. During the reporting for the article, I discovered a thriving local industry that was converting a reusable resource – plastic – into structural lumber for picnic tables.
The community’s replies to the article indicated a welcoming of plastic lumber in many locations. Several programs that were underway by local and regional agencies to use the product in parks and along boardwalks were expanded. Awareness increased about how disposable products could be rethought of as new products. Plastic lumber is now used widely by the National Park Service and homeowners building decks.