Chester Zoo is using recycled plastics for some of its enclosures and signage in replace of traditional materials such as plywood.
The Zoo is using Stokbord, a board made entirely from recycled plastic carrier bags, films and bottles manufactured by Centriforce Products in Liverpool, UK.
“Stokbord is a much more sustainable solution for us than plywood. It’s an incredibly versatile material, so it is ideal for the wide variety of uses around the zoo from bird boxes to frog houses, from rodent enclosures to creating signs of all shapes and sizes,” explained Zoo Maintenance Foreman, Tony Ankers.
The Stokbord recycled plastic sheet forms a robust, damage-resistant backing board to which vinyl-laminated aluminium graphic signs are bolted.
“When plywood is routed, it exposes the end grain making it even more susceptible to rotting,” Ankers continued. “This can be a problem as many of our environments are wet, humid or steamy and animal structures need to be washed down regularly. Outdoors signs also need to withstand weather extremes.
“Plywood can need to be replaced in as little as six months and needs to be regularly inspected and maintained. By contrast we know that Stokbord will last for years without degrading.
“Also, because Stokbord is made entirely from recycled plastic, we are preventing a significant amount of waste from going to landfill. This is an important part of the Zoo’s commitment to sustainable practices.”
Stokbord is manufactured at Centriforce’s Liverpool manufacturing headquarters entirely from recycled HDPE and LDPE plastic, which would be otherwise destined for landfill or export.