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Spotlight on playground materials: PolyPlay & Timber.

PolyPlay vs Timber
About Park Supplies & Playgrounds
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Park Supplies & Playgrounds Ltd has designed fabricated, installed & maintained a huge countless number of projects for Councils and Schools throughout New Zealand.

There are many different considerations when deciding on your new playground equipment and the types of materials used should be a key factor.

Two common materials used in the construction of playground equipment are PolyPlay and timber, with environmental sustainability a hot topic it’s timely to review how each material.

POLYPLAY

PolyPlay is a solid plastic material that is a great choice for climbing walls and other structural elements within a playground.

The material is unique to Park Supplies & Playgrounds and a real benefit is that it is 95-100% recyclable! This may surprise you as typical plastic based materials are often seen as bad for the environment and difficult to break down. Park Supplies & Playgrounds can recycle this product for you at the end of its life when a playground is being demolished, as an internal practice we also recycle manufacturing offcuts to make new material. If you are after a sustainable yet hard wearing material PolyPlay should be high on the list of your considerations. It is long lasting, will not rot or fade and is both fire retardant and graffiti resistant, on top of that the maintenance is much lower than other materials. Another great feature is our ability to customise PolyPlay panels with your logo or other features.

PolyPlay panels

TIMBER

Timber

Timber is often viewed as one of the most natural and sustainable materials, in
its raw form this is quite true.

Timber is a fantastic playground structure material that is strong, stable and has an attractive appearance, however most timber used in New Zealand playgrounds is treated “H4” or “H5” timber. “H” is the “hazard class rating and tells you the level of treatment applied to prevent the wood from decaying. Timber is treated with CCA (Copper, Chromium and Arsenic salt) which is a water-borne preservative treatment. Wood treated in this way is considered safe to use and specifically the Ministry of Education states, with regard to treated timber use in playgrounds, that CCA treated timber “does not pose significant risks to the public” so it is considered safe.

The issue however which should be top of mind when considering treated timber is in fact around its disposal at the end of life. Currently most timber playgrounds go to landfill due to issues with identification and sorting withing New Zealand waste management systems and reuse is often discouraged due to the CCA content. Recyclability may change in the future as technology and legislation moves forward, but it is worth talking to your playground supplier around disposal options when you are looking at timber playground elements.

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