RECENTLY, CHICAGO-BASED U.S. Plastic Lumber (USPL) stopped making composite products, citing problems with staining and other issues. Instead, USPL has turned all of its energies toward making “pure” plastic products made with 100 percent HDPE.
John Burns of Trex, the nation's leading seller of composite decking, says any problems with composites can be tackled. Stains can usually be removed, for instance.
“We believe the gap between sales of composites and all plastic products will continue to widen because of the difference in the workability and the natural look of composites,” Burns says.
USPL expects most of its growth in coming years to occur with its Trimax product—a fiberglass-reinforced alternative to pressure-treated lumber. Its biggest obstacle—for both HDPE decking and Trimax—is developing a distribution network for the product, which USPL now serves to only a handful of markets.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Chicago, IL.