Trash to treasure

Posted on Jun 30, 2017 :: Made in the New North
Jessica Thiel
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Call it an idea ahead of its time.
In 1973, when Irvin Vincent began using farm equipment to shred plastic from milk cartons to create plastic lumber, the concept took a while to catch on.

Irvin’s son Lynie Vincent, corporate vice president/vice president of sales and marketing for N.E.W. Plastics Corp., says the idea was unheard of at the time. “It was a losing proposition up until ’85, ’86.”

The Luxemburg company, which also manufactures plastic containers and components, has taken Irvin’s out-there vision and turned it into RENEW Plastics, a successful business making plastic high-end furniture and decking under the REVOLVE, EVOLVE and TRIMAX brand names.

Today, people have embraced plastic lumber as an attractive and low-maintenance alternative to pressure-treated lumber. While it carries a higher price tag than wood, Lynie says the investment is well worth it in time and maintenance, not to mention a splinter or two, saved.

Where wood products need resealing, plastic lumber products need only a good pressure washing and they’re ready to go for the season, Lynie says. They’re also built to last, he says, with colors that resist fading for decades.

“Short term, the price is significantly higher,” Lynie says. “Long term, it’s going to save them money.”