Some people argue that although wood is an environmentally friendly material encouraging use of wood means more harm to rainforests. There is an alternative – artificial wood. But is it really any good? Generally there are two types of artificial wood boards – made entirely from PET (or other recycled plastics) and composite boards where PET is mixed with sawdust and chips to make the material cheaper and lighter.
Please keep in mind that any composite material is a nightmare to recycle. What would you do with a composite wood board after it has served its purpose? The only solution is a landfill. It is either impossible or too expensive to separate plastic from sawdust.
As an alternative, sawdust should be used to make pellets for wood pellet stoves and people should avoid using composite boards too widely.
Although theoretically artificial wood last longer than the natural one, even plastic is prone to degradation. The biggest enemy of a plastic board is the sun. UV rays and heat cause discolouration and changes in the material structure. Besides plastic absorbs toxic substances that are present in the air thus adding to the process of degradation. It is of course possible that a plastic board would last for 20 years but still, you have to consider now if you would be able to recycle the material afterwards.