The shortage of birch plywood is a cause of concern in the timber industry, with many suppliers and contractors looking for alternative places to source from. Ireland-based engineered wood panel manufacturer MEDITE SMARTPLY may offer the perfect solution.

As the invasion of Ukraine continues, international sanctions on Russia remain in place.

One of the most significant sanctions in the construction industry, is the Russian timber import ban, which prohibits the import, acquisition, supply, and delivery of revenue on all wood products coming from Russia. In particular Birch Plywood, which was exported to the UK and Europe in significant volumes prior to the invasion.

Manufacturers in need of wood products are looking to other places to specify products such as Birch Plywood. As Birch forests are found in Russia and Eurasia, the Birch Plywood offered from countries outside of these regions could be of unknown origin – making it illegal to import into the UK or the EU.

If these products enter the UK or EU market, importers and anyone who has purchased these products will be subject to legal action, fines and reputational damage.

This also contributes to a wider environmental issue. If wood is being imported from areas outside of the EU, it increases a company’s carbon footprint – more distance equals more energy used and more energy wasted.

Another significant issue is that the FSC has agreed to suspend all trading certificates in Russia and Belarus and will block all controlled wood sourcing from both countries – this means any wood imported from either country is not FSC certified which affect the sustainability credentials on any build.

However, suppliers in the UK and Ireland can find alternatives in the MEDITE SMARTPLY MDF and OSB ranges, which is not only fully FSC certified, but also locally sourced.

A sustainable choice

SMARTPLY OSB and MEDITE MDF are made from sustainable wood products. OSB is made from newly grown pine and spruce. MDF consists of 40% wood chip and 60% by-product. Each range boasts some of the most environmentally efficient building materials on the market, with a product-specific Type 3 Environmental Product Declaration to support this.

With manufacturing sites in Clonmel (MEDITE) and Waterford (SMARTPLY), Ireland, it offers a dependable, local supply and reduces the carbon footprint for timber merchants and suppliers.

Those working on renovations, fit-outs or kitchen and bathroom projects can find the ideal product for the job in the MEDITE MDF range. MEDITE MDF panels are suitable for use in non-structural applications.

Cabinetry and furniture makers for kitchens and bathrooms will find MEDITE MR and EXTERIOR suitable products thanks to its moisture resistance properties.

EXTERIOR was originally developed for outdoor applications, but contractors have recently specified the panel as a substitute for birch plywood for interior bathroom and shower panelling.

Those working on laminating projects, could consider using MEDITE PREMIER, a multi-purpose MDF suitable for the thinnest laminates and surface coatings.

For interior fit out applications, there is MEDITE CLEAR, an MDF panel manufactured with no added formaldehyde, developed specifically for use in environmentally sensitive interior applications, where formaldehyde emissions need to be kept to the minimum.