Panel board mills are wood recyclers’ oldest and biggest customer. In the past they accounted for 95 per cent of the use of recycled wood. Today that figure has decreased to nearer 50 per cent as other alternative uses for recycled wood have been developed.
Panel board products are categorised as sheet materials in which wood is the dominant material in the form of strips, veneers, chips or fibres. They include plywood, particleboard (including chipboard), oriented strand board (OSB) and fibre boards including medium density fibre board (MDF).
Panel board mills manufacture these products from a mixture of virgin and recycled wood. The mix varies depending on the end products required, but the benefit of using recycled wood within the mix is that it is much drier than virgin wood.
The UK consumes more than five million cubic metres of panel board a year, of which we produce 50 per cent.