New school climbing walls are made from carrier bags and bottles

September 13, 2012 at 9:20 AM

A new design of climbing wall for primary schools is making strides for sustainability by using panels manufactured entirely from recycled waste plastic bottles, carrier bags and film.

The low-level climbing walls used in school playgrounds for traversing or bouldering have been developed by leading UK manufacturer Beacon Climbing Walls, using Stokbord® recycled plastic panels from Centriforce.

The Stokbord climbing walls have been developed especially for use where school buildings have uneven, or pebble-dash surfaces, for which conventional 'direct-fix' climbing walls are unsuitable. The recycled plastic wall panels also provide a value-for-money alternative to installing a much more costly freestanding plastic design.

So far three schools, two in Wales and one in London, have benefited from the recycled plastic design, each with their own bespoke specification developed by the Beacon team to suit their requirements.

The Stokbord from Centriforce provides a rigid, durable and rot-free base upon which to design a low-level traverse climbing array using Beacon's colourful climbing holds to complement the layout of the school's external playground walls.

Said Gill Lovick, Director of Beacon Climbing Walls: "The Stokbord panels have provided a much-needed, low-cost solution to building climbing walls where school walls are not flat. In conventional direct fix designs, the climbing holds can be fixed directly into the wall, but with uneven surfaces the plastic panels are attached via battens to the wall, and the climbing holds are fixed to the plastic boards instead. The properties of Stokbord provide both the rigidity and the flexibility we need to enable quick and efficient installation, which is a very important for the schools.

"Climbing walls are becoming a popular addition to many school playgrounds as a means to fulfil some of the aspirations of the National Curriculum for outdoor learning," she added. "The recycled option has provided a solution which is durable and offers value for money, as well as the bonus of using recycled materials."

Stokbord is manufactured at Centriforce's Liverpool manufacturing headquarters entirely from recycled HDPE and LDPE plastic, which would be otherwise destined for landfill or export. Its versatility and durability have made Stokbord an established alternative to plywood in a wide range of industries.

"It's always a pleasant surprise when Stokbord's versatility finds another new application," said Simon Carroll, Managing Director for Centriforce. "Stokbord has again been able to prove its worth as a high-performance, value for money plastic panel, whilst at the same time offering a sustainable, low-carbon solution."

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