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Sustainability Experts, EcoTimber Plus

October 13, 2015
Sustainability Experts, EcoTimber Plus

Incorporating timber into your house doesn’t necessarily mean that your decision will result in the destruction of native or international forestry. Well now you can feel guilt free, thanks to advances in Eco manufacturing in the timber Industry, there are now several ways to have a beautiful timber featured home using environmentally friendly home-grown timber that won’t harm you or your pets with toxins. We spoke recently with Nick Schembri from EcoTimber Plus's about the advantages and benefits of using Australian grown EcoTimber products in your home.

As a result to an update in the Department of Agriculture’s regulations on importing and timber related products, traditional CCA (copper chromium arsenate) treatment was withdrawn from certain timbers used for residential and community use. This meant that any timber used for decking, playground equipment, garden furniture, picnic tables, Child Care Centres, Primary & High Schools, Parks and other uses where frequent and direct human contact are expected, had to be subject to strict conditions on treatment for safety purposes.

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An example of decking constructed with EcoTimber Plus's luxurious Merbau timbers

With over 30 years’ experience of running his own timber fencing installation business, Nick Schembri, understands all the considerations of building an outdoor project. Nick who is all too aware of the impact the timber industry has on the environment and the need for progression in the field. Which is why, when the opportunity presented itself, Nick snapped up EcoTimber Plus without hesitation.

"Many imported wood products come with environmental claims that are difficult to verify, and there remains a diversity of opinion over the ecological and social sustainability of management practices in the forestry industry globally.” Nick informs us, “Forests and plantations remain a touchstone for a broad range of industrial, social and political interests, as much of the timber imported into developed economies like USA, EU, Australia and UK is illegal and not up to the safety standards imposed on Australian plantations. The extent of this illegal trade has prompted a number of countries to move to ban illegal wood imports. In the USA, the Lacey Act has been introduced, banning illegal timber imports, which prompted the EU and Australia in 2010 to also announce that they would bring in bans too."

“In Australia, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) ruled that from March 2006 CCA (copper chromium arsenate) preservative is not to be used to treat timber and wood products intended for certain application that will come into direct contact or exposure with human or animals." Nick informs us.

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EcoTimber Plus' structural treated pine

"While organisations such as Arch Wood Protection strongly believes in the safety of CCA preservative in treated timber for common outdoor construction applications, Arsenic Free EcoTimber provides consumers and specifies with an alternative choice for outdoor and ground contact situations."

Nick Explained to us the further benefits of Arsenic Free EcoTimber, “It is intended for long term performance against decay and termites. It incorporates only recycled copper and safe organic azole biocides as active constitutes which may be more acceptable and more appropriate for applications such as playgrounds.

He informs us that EcoTimber is preferred for prefabrication and re-manufacturing where extensive machining and cutting work generates a lot of treated wood dust and waste. "By using sustainable timber from Plantation and farm forestry’s it present an opportunity to increase Australia’s long-term wood supply while contributing significant social, economic and environmental benefits to regional Australia." Nick tells us

Nick believes that greater community knowledge will help to emphasize the importance of using sustainably sourced timber products in the building and construction industry. One of EcoTimber's main objective is educating the community about the virtues of sustainably sourced and treated timbers.

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EcoTimber Plus also stocks full or half sized wine barrels, perfect as garden planter or bar table!

"Educating the community is very important so they get an understanding of the time and effort that goes in to sustainable timber." Nick says, "Over the past decades, landholders and community groups all over Australia have invested significant time and effort in planting trees and other plants in re-vegetation and forestry projects. The National Farm Forestry Inventory reported that by 2001 over 65,000 hectares had been planted in farm forestry activities."

"I guess what I love most about my product is the fact we can show people they can still use timber, a natural product, around their home without having to worry about any harsh chemicals leaching out and into the ground." Nick proudly tells us.

Nick strongly believes that all projects in Melbourne and across Australia, should be using safe and sustainable Australian sourced timber products, “I think the fact we are the largest supplier of EcoTimber arsenic free treated timber in Melbourne is what really set us apart from other timber suppliers. Some retailers supply arsenic free like us, but only in small quantity and do charge 20 – 30% more as they class it as a specialty item. I believe it when it comes to sustaining the Australia construction industry the price of EcoTimber should be no different to standard CCA treated pine.

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Fencing created with EcoTimber Plus

Melbourne's number one supplier of high-quality outdoor treated timber products sourced from a group of sustainably managed, privately owned regrowth forests. Between Nick and his two sons, new customers can have the confidence in EcoTimber Plus’s products. With their extensive history of experience, EcoTimber Plus are more than happy to help anyone out with any projects they have coming up.