This is not a company that puts a small fractional amount of recycled content in their materials and labels them as green, they go much further than that. They also help people who get stumped when it comes to recycling items that don’t directly fall into the “paper”, “plastic” or other categories. One of these primary items could be your poly-coated orange juice and milk cartons.
ReWall manufactures building materials almost entirely from recycled products. By bundling the leftover cartons and melting them down, the company is able to transform these into wall products such as their NakedBoard and EssentialBoard. These can commonly be found in building and renovation products as a substitute to drywall, plywood, and other forms of traditional wall materials.
After seeing the company make a splash at a Pitch & Grow a couple years ago, I was able to stop in and get a plant tour as part of YPC’s Morning Meet-up this week. It’s an intriguing tour, as most visitors will pass by stacks of what could be ice cream containers or Anderson Erickson O.J. cartons before watching them hit a giant shredder. The pieces get spred out and melted down into giant sheets before heading out the door to the lumber yard or construction site.
What the consumer gets is a more moisture and mold resistant board that’s extremely durable for exterior or interior surfaces. There’s even examples of it being used as a tile backsplash. While the technology behind ReWall was developed in Europe, it began its expansion in the U.S. after David Phillips founded his own division of the company here in Des Moines.
A discussion point came up during the tour, which is whether or not we need to start changing our recycling habits here in Iowa. When compared to other states, we tend to contribute to “dirty” recycling. This requires more time and energy to process due to the food residue left on products. A recommendation from the ReWall staff is to simply give products a quick rinse and unscrew tops from containers before tossing them to your curb.
To talk about changing habits, here’s another way that the company did that already in Des Moines: