Ecosheet is made from 100% mixed-waste plastic and is being trialled by contractors for site hoardings before full production later this year

A Luton-based company has developed a ground-breaking process to manufacture an alternative to plywood, which will go into full production at the end of the year.

Ecosheet, which is made by 2K Manufacturing, is made from 100% mixed-waste plastic and is itself fully recyclable.

The company is aiming the product as a direct substitute for imported plywood used for shuttering and site hoardings.

Like plywood, Ecosheet has similar strength properties, can be nailed, screwed, glued and painted. According to the company when used as shuttering it gives a smooth finish, needs little release agent and can be used more times than plywood, this is in part because the cut edges do not splinter.

At the end of its life it can be returned to the plant and recycled, rather than being sent to landfill.

The product has already been trialled by contractors including Bovis and Wates and the company is looking at having it tested to get the necessary approvals for internal use, such as worktops and cubicle partitions, as well as BREEAM certified and included in the BRE’s Green Guide to Specification.

"The UK has a mountain of plastic waste,” says Omer Kutluoglu, co-founder of 2K. “Five million tonnes goes to landfill each year and 93% cannot be recycled”.

The process developed by 2K allows co-mingled polymer and plastic waste from a variety of sources such as hospital waste and domestic waste such as yoghurt pots and biros to be re-used.

The new facility in Luton can process 24,000 tonnes of waste a year and the firm is hoping to set up a further 10 plants across the UK.