10 Sustainable Benefits of GRP

Sustainable Benefits of GRP Over Traditional Materials

In our recent blog post, we looked at the benefits of GRP – diving in further, let’s look at how this clever material works as a sustainable solution to traditional building materials.

Before we start, let’s actually look at what sustainability is…

When it comes to sustainability, there are three key factors that need to be considered: the economy, the environment and society itself. And certainly, in the ever-evolving and demanding building industry, it’s essential that the materials used are fully sustainable for all concerned.  With the price of building increasing and the demand from clients for a sustainable solution, it’s vital for the industry to find materials that suit. In particular, the use of GRP (Glass Reinforced Polyester), or fibreglass as it’s frequently known, makes for an excellent choice of building material as opposed to traditional materials.  

Let’s look at why GRP makes for an excellent sustainable solution for builders to work with, compared to traditionally and widely accepted materials.

1. Safer for soil

We know that the soil is a particularly important and safe habitat for local small mammals and wildlife. Unlike other materials used traditionally, there’s no need for toxic chemicals when GRP is installed, meaning that the soil and local inhabitants won’t be affected.


2. Sturdiness

A great benefit of GRP is that it doesn’t deform or defect, which can often be a result of using traditional alternative building materials. You’ll find that GRP is both corrosion and impact resistant, making it a highly suitable material of choice; issues that previously had massive implications on builds for developers. Due to its sturdiness, GRP does not need to be replaced as often as other materials making it more sustainable over long periods of time.


3. Less maintenance

Financially, GRP is a far better option for building materials. Thanks to its long-lasting capabilities, once installed, it’s far less likely to require costly maintenance or replacement; saving on both time and money, not to mention the hassle of continual upkeep.


4. Recyclable

We are fully aware of the importance of recycling in the building industry.  And this is why GRP makes an excellent solution. We’re also proud that, at Plura, our composite profiles are manufactured in-house, in the UK, to your individual specific requirements, meaning a reduction in air miles for UK projects, whilst also having a recycled bottle core.


5. Beneficial for bridge building

When it comes to building bridges, GRP is a superb option thanks to its ability to deliver a better carbon footprint.  Its CO2 equivalent is less than half a concrete bridge, or a third of a steel bridge. We also recognise the importance of getting the aesthetic right for local authorities – finding a safer and attractive alternative to using traditional materials.


6. Easier to work with

With traditional building materials such as steel, factors such as weight and difficulty of installation are serious concerns. With GRP, it has a high strength to weight ratio; meaning that it can bear heavier loads. Having lower weight means that it requires less resources in terms of transportation which, again, improves the sustainability of the whole project.


7. Strong reinforcement

With its long-lasting usability, this makes GRP a truly sustainable option for those looking to safeguard structures like bridges for future generations to come. 


8. Ideal alternative

Steel may present itself as a fairly modern strong solution, however, GRP is renowned for its reinforcement for structural processes. A constant issue with steel is the possibility of theft due its value. GRP, however, is an effective building tool which is far less likely to be removed or stolen, whilst still measuring up to steel in many other ways with similar properties.


9. Low-impact manufacturing

GRP is certainly a low-impact material to manufacture with a smaller carbon footprint than many other traditional materials; this, paired with the recycled bottle core that PLURA POLYdeck products contain, means it is not only a great option for projects but the more superior choice.


10. Speedy installation

A particular benefit for GRP is how quickly it can be installed, with minimal downtime. This delivers less disruption so that your project is completed sooner and with minimal issues. As mentioned earlier, the lightweight nature of GRP means that resources needed for installation and delivery are dramatically reduced thus increasing its sustainability.


At Plura, we’re constantly working to find alternative solutions that focus on delivering highly effective results as well as sustainable solutions, which is why GRP makes for a perfect building material. Combining a highly useful 100% recyclable bottle core that gives great safety results and long-term cost savings, it’s certainly a superb option for the building sector.

We’re proud to use the high-strength yet lightweight GRP in our POLYdeck products, ensuring that our customers are left with a resilient built environment. In particular, our POLYbridge wood effect bridges deliver such a highly effective result that’s indistinguishable from genuine wood products, with multiple wood colours available. Customers are able to select different lengths to suit, and with a life expectancy of more than 70 years, it’s a highly sustainable product that’s built to last in many ways.

Plura’s use of GRP


For Plura, our use of structural GRP with a recycled bottle core in our POLYdeck™ product means that we can provide a wealth of benefits to a variety of industries. Through our POLYbridges™ and POLYboardwalks™, our valued clients are able to see real results when incorporating them into a natural environment. We create a range of products, and in particular, our decking planks with GRP incorporated means that we can deliver ultimate slip resistance without costly maintenance that other materials frequently experience. Through the installation of our POLYbridge™ products with GRP, our clients have the benefit of having a sustainable solution for beams and cross members.

When it comes to our POLYplank™ products, these are manufactured from structural GRP that has a recycled bottle core. A great benefit is that unlike other 100% recycled plastic materials, this product doesn’t deform or deflect and as it’s not possible to distinguish it from other more traditional and costly materials; it’s a highly useful structural product, which is also available in a variety of wood colours; resulting in a superior choice for the industry going forward.

Discuss your next project with us