Why construction matting promotes positive use of HDPE plastic
Date published: 01 Feb 2024
Nicole Stephenson

Why construction matting promotes positive use of HDPE plastic

Plastic is a controversial material and often the subject of many environmental debates. We hire three forms of construction matting. As well as our aluminum construction matting, we also supply ground protection mats and Tufftrack mats, both of which are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE).  

Many issues surrounding plastic lie with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) or single-use plastics as they’re commonly known.  

Of all LDPE, mostly used in consumer packaging and throwaway items, only a very small amount of what is produced is recycled. The recycling process is more complex, and this form of plastic must be recycled separately.

“It can take between 500 and 1,000 years for LDPE to biodegrade.”

– Businesswaste.co.uk

HDPE however, carries a less controversial label because of its strong structure. It is long-lasting. It is easier to recycle and used again and again as a different product, and carries a slightly higher recycling rate.

There are a list of positives for using HDPE plastic for construction matting

Uses less energy  

Surprisingly, HDPE plastic uses less energy and less material in its production than its alternatives. By using alternatives to HDPE we could produce more greenhouse gas emissions. This helps us to promote sustainable construction sites.

It is durable and reusable  

Sometimes, we have to assess the environmental impact of a product by looking at its reusability. A product with more versatility in its uses has a lower carbon footprint.

It is low-cost to make 

The hire price of HDPE plastic construction matting can remain lower, as it is cheaper to make. This also makes them a lower risk of theft as opposed to aluminium construction mats which are very expensive and attract a high scrap value.  

It is water-resistant 

Of course, plastic is water resistant and can survive adverse weather conditions, damp terrains and wet conditions. Thus, perfect for outdoor work. It is also less likely to bevel and dint, like metal, which can cause the build-up of water.

It is flexible  

The flexibility of HDPE plastic construction matting allows it to follow the contours of the undulating surface, providing better coverage and protection. Certain surfaces require this as opposed to alluminium matting.

HDPE construction matting is the most lightweight 

HDPE plastic construction matting is much lighter weight than many of its alternatives. This means it is easier for workers to lift without causing injury and it decreases fuel consumption for goods transport. Additionally, it causes fewer injuries on site.

It is resistant to rust 

One of the main problems with materials and equipment used outdoors is rust.

“Corrosion and wear costs the UK approximately £80 billion per annum.”

– A study from the University of Edinburgh

Plastic construction matting will never rust, albeit, is the perfect solution to this costly problem. 

It is UV-resistant 

Not only is this good for the material and lifespan of plastic, but construction matting but also is a selling point to clients. If you are providing construction matting for an outdoor event in summer, that is going to be subject to days or weeks of sunlight then this is an ideal USP.

HDPE construction matting is easy to clean 

Plastic is wipeable and most importantly to us…jetwash-able! We can spray off all dirt and also debree very efficiently. They also dry extremley fast too. This means they pose limited bacteria risks.  

You can read, here how we work to combat the negative effects of HDPE plastic equipment mats.

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