Is composite decking environmentally friendly?

Building regulations have evolved over the years limiting the kind of materials you can use. Experts argue that this is in a bid to help in the fight against environmental degradation, which could be propagated through the application of certain building materials. In many countries, composite decking is something that is highly appreciated due to the beauty the technology offers and numerous benefits that are earned from using the materials. With composite materials, you are able to achieve both strength and beauty, with the assurance of zero maintenance cost. That sounds really cool, but the only thing that poses a question is whether composite decking is environmentally friendly.


The aspect of environmental friendliness of timber decking has been debated across different platforms, triggering actions from various governments regarding the ways through which companies should operate while dealing with timber decking. The timber used in this case is obtained through felling trees, something that could lead to adverse environmental effects if the exercise is not controlled. However, decking companies do not just cut trees anywhere to get the timber. Unless otherwise, a company should be certified and authorised to operate in this sector only if they are able to embrace practices that do not go against the regulations of the environment conservation act.

Timber decking offers the most reliable building product available. Trees are known to absorb carbon and offer oxygen as a by-product, which is useful for the survival of humans and other living creatures. One of the benefits of timber decking is the fact that it can be recycled and last long before a replacement is needed.

Carbon dioxide is a pollutant and causes variations in climates. So, having many trees means faster elimination of harmful carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Approximately, 80 percent of timber used for decking is imported from cold regions like Scandinavia and Russia because the wood that grows in those regions is of higher quality and does not have many knots. European forests grow at 9250 square kilometres annually, a size same as whole of Cyprus. However, deforestation rate is higher than growth rate thereby threatening the ecological balance. Roughly, deforestation in Europe alone occurs at 13, 000 square kilometres annually (1.3 million hectares).

Coupled with illegal logging, harvesting of timber has caused an imbalance in the environment and this has led to the accumulation of harmful carbon dioxide. One of the reasons penned behind illegal logging is corruption, which is a vice that has been around for decades but hard to eliminate. This implies if the right procedures are not adhered to while harvesting timber for composite decking, life will be affected due to environmental degradation.

With dysfunctional forest regulations, human beings could soon experience the real effects of deforestation, which include desertification. Countries that have regulated forests well are able to offer sufficient tress for decking and other uses and still remain within the recommended forest cover ratio.

Composite decking has been ranked as one of the best materials for buildings, but there is a challenge when it comes to disposing it. Composite decking utilises technical materials like plastics and fibreglass, which do not decompose easily. One of the reasons such materials are added to the wood is to enhance durability and quality, but when it comes to disposing the product after use, there will be the effect of land filling, which affects the environment.

Some companies have elaborate policies that allow for easy recycling of the materials after use, and this helps to save the environment from the damage that comes as a result of poor disposal. It is also good to note that decking ensures durability, which means before you may think about making a replacement more than a decade has passed. This keeps the number of trees used in the preparation of the materials at a sustainable number.

Treated timber can resist different weather conditions and is strong enough to withstand any forces. Most composite decking items are a once in a lifetime purchase and help in the realisation of the green movement goals. Although trees are needed in the process, the number is not as much as it would be if the timber was not treated to enhance durability and appearance.

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