Properties of Recycled Plastic Products

Plastic Forests products are manufactured using recycled post-consumer soft plastics such as silage wrap from farms, and soft plastics from commercial, industrial and institutional facilities, in accordance with AS/NZS ISO 14021:2000.

Recycled content is the proportion, by mass/weight, of pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled material in a product or packaging (AS/NZS ISO 14021:2000).  ‘Post-consumer’ material is material waste generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities. ‘Pre-consumer’ material is material diverted from the waste stream during manufacturing (excluding rework). Recycled material is defined as material which has been reprocessed from recovered material by means of a manufacturing process, and made into a final product or into a component for incorporation into a product (AS/NZS ISO 14021:2000, Environmental labels and declarations – Self-declared environmental claims )

Appearance & Colour variation:

Plastic Forests products are manufactured from used plastic material that would typically go to landfill. The type and colour of the raw material that we reprocess varies depending on supply, which may result in colour variation between finished products and between batches. Splashes and swirls may also occasionally occur on some products due to the manufacturing process. As certain products are manufactured on different machines it may not be possible to exactly colour match items. This is an unavoidable part of the recycling process. While any variation is kept to a minimum due to high quality control standards, customers should be mindful of possible colour variation when ordering.

Due to the use of recycled materials, small pieces of shredded plastic material may be visible in some products.

Toxicity and Leaching:

Plastic Forests recycled plastic products are made from polyethylene which is chemically inert.  Low density polyethylene (LDPE) is generally considered a safe plastic which is approved for food contact (such as bread bags, frozen foods, cling wrap).  Polypropylene (PP) plastics are also considered one of the safest plastics and are used for yoghurt containers, straws and deli soup. It has a high heat tolerance which makes leaching unlikely even when exposed to hot water. LDPE and PP do not contain bisphenol A (BPA) which can leach into water, particularly when heated. We do not use any plastics that come from chemical or oil drums.

Expansion and Contraction:

All plastic will expand and contract longitudinally with changes in temperature. Allowance must be made for this during installation of Plastic Forests’ products to allow for this movement. Please refer to product Installation Instructions for further information.

When exposed to heat from direct sunlight, some bending in long products, such as fence posts, may be seen.

Ultraviolet light:

Plastic Forests recycled plastic products contains approximately two per cent UV stabiliser, which extends the life of the product to over 10 years without visible effect.

However, the recycled plastic used by Plastic Forests can eventually be degraded by direct UV light. UV light breaks up plastic (polymer chains) that can eventually produce a white/grey, dust-like residue on the surface without affecting the performance of the product in the vast majority of cases.

Depending on the climate, the colour may also fade due to UV exposure. This is particularly relevant with blue, white and green colours. The quality or performance of the product will in no way be affected.

When buried, the plastics are not subject to either thermal or UV attack so will not naturally degrade. Plastics do not split or rot and are resistant to insect attack. Our plastic products will perform well in subterrain applications without need for maintenance or replacement for many years.

Size variation:

Sizes quoted on our website and specifications are approximate. Please allow for a +/-5 mm variation in length and a +/- 5 mm variation in width and height for products such as Profiles. When using larger products please note the variations will increase accordingly.

Air bubbles:

Recycled plastic products may contain air bubbles which occur as a result of the manufacturing process. Air bubbles will not appear on the surface of the product and in no way affect the quality. They will occur on the ends of the profiles when trimmed/cut.


As our products are made of plastic they will burn under various fire loads, such as severe bushfire conditions. However, while plastic will eventually melt, it does not release high levels of toxins, unlike treated timber. See Fire Statement for further information.


Cupping or shrinkage across a flat surface may occur during the manufacturing process. However, this does not affect the integrity or lifespan of the product. Any cupping, greater than the specific product specification detected during manufacturing will be rejected. Once produced, recycled plastic will not cup any further.


Plastic Forests’ products never require painting. Should you choose to paint your product, be aware that not all paints will adhere to the surface of the plastic and the product will then require maintenance.

Product Handling:

Long products like fence posts or wheel stops will be packed for shipping, typically with strapping and dunnage/pallets. Please store products on level ground and keep strapped until use. If products are removed from packaging please ensure dunnage is evenly spaced under the products to prevent sagging or deformation during long term storage.

If products are stored outside before use, please keep products strapped and on a flat surface to prevent bowing in the sun.