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Alternative to wood

Gerry Sherard, business development manager, Eco Plastic Industries, explains how their product is helping to save the environment, and his hopes for top-level support in the future.


Gerry Sherard, business development manager, Eco Plastic Industries, explains how their product is helping to save the environment, and his hopes for top-level support in the future.

Can you tell me about the product?

It's a recycled plastic substitute for natural wood. Eco wood is an eco-friendly product - it is manufactured from mixed plastics with a wood-like texture and can be nailed, sawed, riveted and more.

What are the advantages of this product?

It is an environmentally friendly replacement for natural wood in construction works, land-scaping, industries, garden furniture, prefabricated sections and much more. It has a high resistance to rot, water and extreme temperatures and possesses a better longevity compared to natural wood.

Furthermore, it is a product which can be recycled again and again.

How did the company start?

Eco Plastic Industries was founded by Mr Abdulhamid Khoory back in 1995 after successfully establishing and operating a paper recycling factory for 15 years.

Mr Khoory noticed the accumulation of good quantities of plastic waste within the paper waste collection system, so he decided to scout the world for a solution. After four years of extensive research he decided that this method of plastic recycling best fits the available raw material.

Finally, in 1995, construction work started on building this plastic recycling facility with the help of a Mauritius-based company, who helped with the know-how, and a UK-based company who supplied some of the equipment. Soon after the company started, Eco Plastic broke the boundaries of conventional methods of using the end product and started experimenting and inventing new ideas and possibilities for this product. Today Eco plastic is unique among such companies all around the world.

Are there any well-known developments, which your product has been used in?

We have many projects in the Dubai Marina and Media City area, Madinat Jumeirah, Al Murooj Rotana, Dubai International Airport, and Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed stud farm in Ajman on the way to Abu Dhabi.

We also have done projects for Sharjah University, many projects along the Jumeirah Beach Road and Al Wasl road.

Is enough being done in the UAE and other GCC countries to support sustainability and what is your company dong to support the cause?

Absolutely not, we are trying to break through but it is really difficult. We feel we are not getting the proper recognition we deserve.

For example, the government is selling our raw material to China, India and Pakistan. We are a 100% locally owned and managed company, a manufacturing company that is one of its kind in the region, so we feel more could be done to protect us, to secure more contracts. More needs to be done to support companies like us because we clean the environment, we help reduce the need for cutting down trees in rain forests all around the world. As such, we are good for the country's image in general.

What have been the major developments in Eco Plastic Industries over the last 12months?

We have recently invested in upgrading the facility to be a place where anyone can be impressed upon visiting and seeing how we have used our material in every corner of our recycling facility.

How are the new green building standards going to affect your company?

We hope this will help us grow and we thank the government for taking this step, but like I said before, we first need to be recognized for who we are and what we do, we need to be protected against the exportation of our raw material and be given the opportunity to participate in government projects.

This will help add more weight to our name in the market and therefore make it easier to land projects in the private sector. We will soon be a part of Sheikh Mohammed Enterprises in Dubai, so I hope this will also help us.

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