Progress may be slow, but the world gets more eco-friendly by the day. Industries of many kinds are forced to follow society's moral lead by abandoning unsustainable practices, cutting carbon footprints and generally trying its best to reduce humanity's impact on the environment. Whether these are actually ethical decisions or simply smart business moves is debatable; either way, the effect is that many products and services in a whole range of industries are having to change to move with the times. Once such product is humble plywood, commonly used in construction for a wide variety of purposes.
Is Plywood Green?
Basic plywood is sometimes regarded as being harder on the environment than other wood products. This is because it requires energy to produce it, whereas ordinary wood can simply be cut down and shaped. However, this is an unfair and inaccurate portrayal of plywood. It is reductionist and doesn't take into account that there are plenty of other factors which determine a product's kindness to the environment. For example, plywood can be made from any local source of wood. This means that it is likely to have a very low carbon footprint by comparison to other woods, which may be shipped long distances before they are fully processed.
In Practical Use
Because plywood is manufactured from other wood and is not cut directly from the source, it is much more even and 'predictable' a resource than ordinary wood. This means that every part of a plywood panel can be used, and no wastage is necessary. Also, though it is a strong and high-quality resource that will last a long time, plywood is also very easy to recycle and reuse. As such, if it is replaced, it doesn't need to end up on the rubbish heap; it can continue to serve a purpose.
How Can It Be Better?
Over recent years, advancements have been made to reduce plywood's impact on the environment even further. This is largely done by switching out the glue that is used to produce the plywood but may also involve economic pressing techniques, and the choice to purchase more sustainable wood. Of course, this often depends on the supplier; it may be the case that using local, less sustainable wood as a base material is better than shipping a more populous wood over a longer distance.
No product is perfect; everything that's manufactured or sold has a carbon footprint, and that's an inescapable fact of modern life. Still, plywood is a durable and versatile resource that offsets this well, especially now that manufacturers are beginning to make the efforts detailed above. As such, you should feel entirely justified and eco-friendly in using it.
Contact a company that carries plywood products for more information and assistance.