Canadian Plastics

Plastic decks capture more than 10% market share

The markets for wood-fibre plastic composites and recycled plastic lumber are forecast to continue their rapid grow...

March 24, 2003   Canadian Plastics

The markets for wood-fibre plastic composites and recycled plastic lumber are forecast to continue their rapid growth through to 2010. Deck boards and railings are particularly promising for plastic wood-replacement products, but growth will not be restricted to this category. A variety of other applications are emerging for wood-fibre plastic composites (WPC) and recycled plastic lumber (RPL).
A recent Canadian report on this market states that plastic deck boards and railings captured more than 11% of the residential deck building market across North America last year. The report was published by the Environment and Plastics Industry Council (EPIC), a council of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, and Corporations Supporting Recycling (CSR).
According to the EPIC/CSR report, sales of plastic deck building products in North America in 2001 were US$395 million. That sales figure is expected to blossom to US$845 million by 2005.
The plastic lumber sector, as covered in the EPIC/CSR report, is made up mostly of wood-fibre plastic composites (80%), with the remainder being plastic lumber made purely of either virgin or recycled resin.
The largest producers of plastic decking and building products in Canada are Royal Group Technologies Ltd. (Woodbridge, ON), Composite Building Products International Inc. (Barrie, ON), Brite Manufacturing Inc. (Bolton, ON), GSW Thermoplastics Co. (Barrier, ON), and Nexwood Industries Ltd. (Brampton, ON).
On a global scale, U.S. consultant Principia Partners reports that worldwide demand for WPCs is forecast to reach more than US$1.4 billion by 2007, with continued strong growth through to 2010. The leading end use is extruded building products, however penetration to other building products is expected, and applications also exist for molded wood-fibre reinforced parts in the automotive/transportation sector.
In related news, U.S. WPC giant Trex Company Inc. reported a 43% increase in revenues for 2002 compared with the previous year. Net income for 2002 was US$16.8 million, an increase of 85% over 2001. Trex produces WPC decking and railing from waste wood fibres and reclaimed polyethylene.
The EPIC/CSR report is available at www.plastics.ca/epic, under the heading “Publications”.


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