Trex and REI Co-Op both keep sustainability at the forefront of their brands’ ethos, making a collaboration a natural fit.

Campground Trex and REI
Photo courtesy of Trex and REI

For the last four years, Trex and REI Co-op have worked together to repurpose plastic film waste gathered from the specialized outdoor retailer’s shops and fulfillment centers. The material is then used to make Trex’s composite decking, a long-lasting and environmentally responsible option for homeowners.

The latest collaboration showcases the sustainability initiatives of both companies when REI decided to expand its Signature Camp close to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. Tent setups built on raised platforms composed of Trex composite decking present a way for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy nature.

“At Trex we believe the best memories are made outdoors so it made perfect sense to partner with a company like REI whose entire brand is built around the outdoor experience,” explained Leslie Adkins, group vice president of marketing and ESG development for Trex. “It’s been especially rewarding to work with one of our dedicated recycling partners to demonstrate the circularity of Trex decking in such a unique and tangible way.”

The NexTrex Partnership

Trex’s recycling program is known as NexTrex. The company collaborates with numerous organizations and retailers nationwide to dispose of polyethylene (PE) plastic film, a crucial component in the company’s eco-friendly decking. This decking is crafted from up to 95% recycled and reclaimed materials. Trex, a leading plastic film recycler in North America, has successfully transformed over 5 billion pounds of PE waste into its outdoor living products during the last 30 years.

In 2020, REI became a part of the NexTrex commercial recycling program. Since then, they have made a significant impact by contributing almost two million pounds of plastic film. This contribution comes from collections at their stores as well as their fulfillment centres. REI strives for zero waste in operations, aiming to divert at least 90% of waste from landfill or waste-to-energy.

For this latest project, REI partnered with Trex to construct 10 elevated decking platforms at its Signature Camp near Bryce Canyon. Over 700,000 pieces of plastic film have been saved from landfills by using the deck boards in these platforms.

“Creating access to the outdoors for all is core to who we are and how we design guided adventure experiences at REI,” said Justin Wood, REI Experiences director. “Our relationship with Trex helps us reduce our footprint by diverting plastic waste from landfills while also providing durable and attractive recycled materials for the construction of our private REI Signature Camps. That’s meaningful and important to REI and to our customers.”

Trex chose its Transcend Lineage decking in the shade Biscayne for the campsite due to the product’s authentic wood look and practicality. Lineage decking is engineered with heat-mitigating technology in the shell to reflect the sun and keep boards cooler than any other product in the company’s line. The boards are also built to resist sun and snow damage, making them an appropriate choice for this high-traffic area.

This story appeared on Builder Online

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