100% Recycled Plastic Third Time’s the Charm for Milmar

by Nathan Oravec

Although its third time as a vendor at HCC’s Flower & Garden Show, it almost seems as though this year’s offering was custom-tailored - or fabricated, if you will - for Hagerstown’s own Milmar Plastics. “This year’s theme was recycled products,” explains Milmar president Douglas Henneberger, “so we obviously fit right in with that.”

Featuring 100% recycled plastic lumber products, Milmar will take to the Flower & Garden Show with a wide array of outdoor-friendly furniture on display, including rocking and Adirondack chairs, stools, tables, gardening wheelbarrows and pergolas. Keeping the focus of recycling at the forefront, Milmar’s booth at the show may seem strangely familiar to last year’s patrons. “We’re basically using the same display,” Doug says. “Although we’ve added a lot more furniture.” Again, Milmar’s trademark gazebo will take center-stage in the ARCC courtyard, flanked by countless additional plastic wonders - comprised and constructed, Doug notes, by an every-day material: high density polyethylene plastic, a.k.a. the milk jug.

“It’s all made out of milk jugs,” he says, smiling. “Our display will show how we go from the milk jug to the final product.” An inside tip, Doug shares - Milmar receives the jugs in board form and can then machine and assemble whatever type of furniture necessary.

A third generation plastic-man, himself, Doug’s grandfather founded Milmar back in 1951. Family owned and operated, the company celebrates its 52nd anniversary this year. “Believe it or not,” he says, “the technology hasn’t changed that much over the years.”

One of the biggest advancements, Doug says, was vinyl fencing, which Milmar picked up back in the 70s, but dropped due to shortcomings in the product and related-technology. It wouldn’t be until 1994 that Milmar would reestablish its vinyl business, which has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.

“We almost doubled our business last year,” he says in reference to Milmar’s vinyl and polylumber facet. Sales are expected to double yet again this year.

In addition to the HCC sponsored show next weekend, Milmar will also make an appearance at the Martinsburg Home Show, held March 7, 8 and 9 at the Martinsburg Mall.

The biggest thing Doug hopes to share with visitors to his booth at either event is simply awareness. “It’s getting people to realize just how much is recyclable,” he says, “and to help them to make it even more so. Even if it’s one milk jug, at least it’s not sitting in the landfill for 10 years.”

“Recycling is the way to go,” he continues. “It might cost a little more, but at least you know that you saved something from the landfills.”

And what better way to bask in that knowledge, then in your very own milk-jug made Adirondack chair?

Hours for Milmar Plastics, 21315 Leitersburg Pike in Hagerstown, are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. For much more information, visit www.milmar.com, call 301-739-5730, or e-mail Doug at doug@milmar.com.