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Environmental Issues with Natural Rattan

Rattan Garden Furniture

While quite a bit of modern rattan furniture is made out of synthetic materials, natural rattan is still highly prized and often used for furniture. As it is a natural material, there are important harvesting and environmental issues to consider with natural rattan. The good news is that natural rattan can actually be good for forests. This is because the plants the rattan is harvested from depend on tress for their survival – as natural rattan is quite a profitable product that is also fairly easy to harvest, it discourages loggers from chopping down trees and provides them with a good alternative product to harvest.

Natural rattan also grows quickly and it is easy to transport, which makes it an attractive product for many. However, there are a couple of harvesting and environmental issues we need to be aware of in relation to natural rattan. One is that, while it can be a positive factor in creating sustainable forests, there is sometimes a tendency to harvest the rattan when it is still too young. This is significant because when the rattan stems are cut when they are young, it can make it harder for them to regrow, which damages the plant.

Also, the forest ecosystems can be impacted by excessive harvesting of rattan and so it is a process that needs to be carried out carefully to ensure the sustainability of the forest, the wider environment and the rattan itself. This means that a balance needs to be found between rattan’s potential environmental benefits and the harm that can be done by overharvesting and using toxic chemicals in the production process. Natural rattan has been used to make furniture for hundreds of years and so it certainly has a lot of potential; we just need to make sure that its attractiveness as a material for furniture does not harm its long term chances of survival in the forests where it grows.

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