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Blue Polyethylene Tarp

Using The Tarp to Benefit the Environment


You may not think that a plastic tarpaulin can help you with green living. However, these versatile items are excellent for a large number of environmentally sound uses.


Recycling gets a lot of attention as a way to save the Earth, but people frequently forget that reducing our use of resources in the first place is a better method.

By using tarps to protect your building, landscaping, and other materials from damage and degradation, you can assure yourself that you'll use the minimum possible.

When left out to the weather, metal rusts, materials like concrete react and solidify before they are supposed to, paint can be contaminated, and plastics degrade. To keep your materials safe, place them on pallets above the ground and be sure to cover them with the appropriate tarp.

Choosing the right tarp for your use is an important part of protecting the environment. The wrong tarp might not cover your materials adequately, or may degrade before its purpose is served. Because of this, you should be certain to make the right choice the first time you buy a tarp.

Originally, tarps were made of oiled canvas. This kind is still available, and is appropriate for some uses. However, canvas tarps are generally very heavy and awkward, as well as being expensive. A well-selected poly tarp is a better choice for many applications.

It's possible to find polyethylene tarps made out of recycled materials. The item you use to protect your building materials may once have made up drink and food containers. Polyethylene accounts for the majority of plastics recycling. However, plastics cannot be recycled into items that contain edibles, because of contamination risk. This means that a lot of recycled plastics see a new life as stuffing for pillows and jackets, trash bags, and, of course, tarps.

You're probably used to seeing the standard blue tarp sold at hardware stores. These are good for lightweight applications that don't expose them to the sun much. They're usually about 6 mils thick.

If you're looking for a heavy duty tarp to take some punishment, like a carport cover, try getting an 11 or 12 mil tarp, or even a super heavy duty grade one - 23 mils thick. Unfortunately, like lumber, the specified size of the tarp isn't actually the size. Most of these items will be 4-6 inches smaller in every dimension. The size specified on the package is the size prior to hemming. Be sure to take this into account when buying your tarp.

For specialized applications, you can find tarps made to do a variety of jobs. Corner reinforced tarps resist tearing, and UV treated ones are protected against the weakening that polyethylene often suffers because of sunlight exposure. Flame retardant tarps are available for use in areas subject to a lot of heat.

If you want a tarp that will keep sunlight off of your materials, you can get specialty tarps that have an additional layer to reflect or block the sun's rays. Silver sun blocking tarps reflect light away, keeping the items underneath cool in the summer. This means that covering your carport or temperature sensitive materials with this kind of tarp is an excellent idea.

This article was provided by Robert Page, CEO of TARPAFLEX US, Naples Florida. Tarpaflex provides poly tarps in a variety of colors and sizes.


More Info on Polyethylene Tarps

Tarps: An overview of the main choices in protective tarp coverings: polyethylene, canvas, and mesh.

Tarp Straps: Sources for a variety of tarp straps.

Drain Tarps: An ideal emergency solution to rook leaks.

Mesh Tarps: The choice when you need airflow and modest shade, and where water proofing is not required.

Canvas Tarps: A stronger and flame retardant alternative to poly tarpaulins.


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