I manage a large property open to the public and we want to replace litter bins, seating and bollards.

I would like to show the property as being conscious of environmental issues and therefore plan to buy furniture made from recycled plastics. Is this the best option? Can you suggest suppliers of matching items? We'd prefer furniture with a traditional/heritage appearance rather than modern.

Thanks to an increasing need for sustainability, there are now lots of companies supplying street furniture made from recycled plastics. The use of these materials means less waste to landfill and conserves resources, though considerable energy may be used in their collection and conversion to new products. With that in mind it may be worth taking a look at reclaimed timber products or furniture using timber from a sustainable source.

Having said that, street and park furniture made from recycled plastics does have several advantages. For a start, you can put away the wood preservative and paint brush. Most plastic items require little or no maintenance and are rot proof, durable and resistant to vandalism. Many items, like the benches and seating from Prosperity Recycling of Accrington, Lancashire, have knots and a grain so they actually look like wood.

If you opt for furniture made from recycled plastics materials, I think you will find difficulty finding a named range or suite of matching furniture. There are, however, plenty of individual items to choose from and you should be able to find some of a similar style.

There are not so many companies offering bollards made from recycled plastics. Autopa of Rugby supplies parking posts and barriers, along with cycle racks and shelters, made from 100 per cent recycled mixed consumer waste. These are of solid construction and have high-impact strength but are flexible and malleable. They are fixed into position using a ground spike and come in a wide range of styles and sizes up to 1m.

Another company supplying recycled plastic bollards is Alto of Washington, Tyne and Wear. These are available in round or square sections and in black or brown as standard, with a variety of different banding detail.

A full range of furniture — including litter bins — is available from Bristol-based Burdens Environmental and Linpac Environmental of Corsham, Wiltshire.


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