Polywood is the name brand of a woodlike material made from recycled plastics created by Poly-Wood Inc. While this man-made plastic lumber is shaped into planks and boards and looks a bit like painted wood from afar, it contains no actual wood or wood byproducts. The company uses Polywood to manufacture furniture designed to withstand outdoor conditions.

Composite Decking
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Close-up of a deck floor made with polywood planks

Polywood Composition

Polywood is made by recycling high-density polyethylene plastics such as milk jugs and detergent bottles after cleaning them to remove labels and residues remaining from the containers' original contents. The plastic is mixed with dye and foaming agents, then pressed into board and plank shapes to emulate the look of wood. In furniture form, Polywood is used in everything from Adirondack chairs to outdoor benches, picnic tables, gliders and armchairs. Because it is made primarily of HDPE plastic, it is weather-resistant but may fade from continual exposure to sunlight.