In recent years, both homeowners and business owners have started focusing on reducing their environmental impact. While you may know the importance of recycling in the effort to make your home, company, or organization more eco-friendly, you may not be aware of the role that upcycling can play. Specifically, you may not think about how single-purpose items, like billboard advertisements, can be used in other ways.
In this blog, we discuss upcycling, billboard tarps, and how these otherwise wasteful items can be used in innovative and beneficial ways.
What Is Upcycling?
Many items that cannot be recycled or that are difficult to recycle often end up in a landfill after they’re used. Upcycling is a form of reuse where an item that was created to serve a specific purpose is then used for another purpose, usually with little to no modification.
The quintessential example of upcycling is a tractor tire being hung in a tree to function as a swing. In this case, tires can be recycled, but they can be difficult to transport and may require a recycling fee. Upcycling this hypothetical tire keeps the rubber out of the local dump and gives the tire new purpose. Billboard tarps can gain new purpose in a similar way.
What Are Billboard Tarps?
Many people believe that billboard advertisements are created using paint or canvas. However, contemporary billboards are created using durable vinyl tarps with a high-resolution printed image on one side. In most cases, the side without printing is a solid color, usually white.
Once an advertisement has run its course, the billboard tarp is taken down. Tarp upcycling allows these large pieces of non-recyclable vinyl to be reused rather than thrown away.
How Are Billboard Tarps Reused?
Billboard tarps can be used the same way that any other plastic-based tarp would be. Common uses include:
- Agricultural coverings to protect hay, greenhouses, and live plants from the elements
- Drop cloths to catch dust, debris, and paint
- Covers for heavy machinery, including combines and other farming equipment to prevent rust, animal nesting, and other types of damage
- Covers for seasonal vehicle storage, such as for boats and RVs
- Protective floor coverings to reduce the impact and cleanup of sports games, renovations, and other large-scale events
- Tents and overhead coverings for outdoor events, including those held during periods of inclement weather
- Underpinnings for water features such as ponds and pools
These tarps are ideal for residential, commercial, and municipal uses.
What Are the Benefits of Upcycling Billboard Tarps?
While billboard tarps can be used in similar ways to conventional tarps, these vinyl pieces differ in size and shape from the average tarp. These key differences offer benefits to both the user and his or her community, including the four following advantages.
- Cost-Effective Manufacturing
While conventional tarps may be reused by the people who buy them, these plastic sheets can’t be recycled or reused once the user is done with them. This cycle that ends with a landfill means that new plastic tarps have to be manufactured to fill the inventories of hardware stores and similar suppliers, who often pass the cost of manufacturing on to their clients.
Billboard tarps do not have to be newly manufactured. In some cases, these tarps don’t even need alteration before use. This reduced manufacturing effort makes billboard tarps a more cost-effective choice.
- Highly Customizable Products
In addition to billboard tarps being cut down to size when necessary, these vinyl sheets can also be fused together to create a larger tarp. Vinyl also accommodates grommets, simple seams, and other modifications to fit specific purposes.
When you purchase a conventional tarp, you’re restricted to the options available from a specific retailer. When you purchase a billboard tarp, you can get exactly what you need.
- High-Quality End Product
Billboard tarps usually measure 20 millimeters thick, which is 15 millimeters thicker than conventional plastic tarps. This extract thickness makes billboard tarps more durable and better suited for heavy-duty or outdoor uses.
Additionally, most billboard tarps have undergone surface treatments that are intended to limit sun damage. These treatments keep the vinyl from fading, wearing out, or becoming brittle when exposed to UV rays.
- Less Landfill Waste
Billboard tarps can last for 10 years or more. Even after an individual has used the tarp for their business or home, he or she may be able to donate or sell the tarp to a supplier so that the sheet can be used again.
This long reuse cycle reduces the amount of waste created when a billboard is taken down as well as the waste generated by the conventional tarp-manufacturing process.
Whether you need a heavy-duty drop cloth to cover your landscaping during outdoor painting or a protective floor covering for your commercial building, consider choosing an upcycled billboard tarp over a traditional tarp.