Alternative materials - plastic lumber (plastic wood)


New Member
Apr 2, 2022
Hi everyone,
I'm in Brazil and i have tried multiple companies to produce something similar to birdies raised garden beds here. But there are some limitations (and interest) to do it around here.
So i've been searching alternatives.
One thing that is becoming quite avaialbre here is plastic lumber - (we call here ecowood ou "madeira plastica"). It's mande from plastic that wouldn't be recycled anyway.
One of the companies said it was safe to use it for build a raised garden bed. But i have some doubts.
Does anyone know anything about the pros and cons of using this kind of material in a raised garden bed?
Best to everyone!
Hi @MarcioPages ! Firstly, welcome to the forum :D

I would be concerned about toxic chemicals leeching into my plants. In saying that, I don't know much about plastic lumber, and some even say they are made from 'safe' plastics. This is entirely possible, so I wouldn't throw the idea out the window. On top of that - if you are still worried, you could always line the garden bed with safe materials to prevent the leeching.
Do note that whilst companies might say it's safe to use for a raised garden bed, it might not be safe to consume from the plants growing in them: they might be great for flowers, not food.

The pro's would likely be that it's accesible to you and that it wouldn't rot. It probably is quite sturdy too.
Cons would be potential leeching.

It's hard for me to look up what exactly gets used in Brazil as I do not speak the language.
I would echo @mandy Onderwater’s concerns. That said, is there something like thin lightweight insulation, or even plywood that you could use to line a bed to separate the soil from the ecowood? The first thing that came to mind was a styrofoam insulation, but that could have the same potential issues.

Good luck coming to a solution.
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