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Coir-based Environmental Protection

If you didn’t already know, coir is a renewable waste byproduct of coconut production. It has many uses in every day items such as rope, nets, door mats, brushes and mattresses. Coir also has many proven benefits when used for environmental protection. In this article we’ll be exploring the use of coir in water pollution prevention, hazardous spill clean up, as well as erosion and sediment control.

Blackhawk filter mat being placed to protect a drain

How can coir prevent water pollution?

Coir products can be used prevent water pollution caused by sediment contamination. A good example of this is the Blackhawk Filter Mat, which is specifically designed for stormwater drains. It’s made up of coir fibres and works by trapping coarse sediment and debris, keeping them out of stormwater systems. Coir logs are sometimes also used around drains as sediment control. Note that they must be firmly secured to work effectively. There are other fit for purpose solutions which are better suited to drain protection, such as the GuardDog Drain Filter.

How is coir used to absorb hazardous spills?

One of the great things about coir is its versatility, there are just so many uses. Coir fibres are hollow, which help it to absorb and trap liquids. Coir absorbent granules are a popular method of spill control and can be used to absorb water-based, hydrocarbon and chemical spills, including oils, fuels, lubricants, paints and corrosives.

Stratex X700 loose coir absorbent pile

Can coir products control erosion and sediment?

Yes, one of the most common uses of coir is as erosion and sediment (ERSED) control. Minimising erosion during construction activity is important because it helps to ease sediment control requirements. In some extreme cases, erosion and sediment controls that are lacking could result in:

  • Landslides and ground instability caused by loose soil. This is most likely to occur during earthworks associated with construction and landscaping, or as a result of a significant weather event. If plants or trees are removed from a location, there is an increased chance of soil instability and landslides. It’s important to minimise erosion until the area can be revegetated. Coir products can effectively prevent erosion from the wind and rain whilst supporting revegetation activity.
  • Flooding can be caused by erosion that’s not properly managed. Loose soil can be carried in stormwater runoff, which pollutes waterways and can also cause costly blockages within stormwater systems. Drain protection may be the last line of defence, but it all begins with effective erosion and sediment controls, all of which can be coir-based.
  • Environmental implications are another important factor for consideration. Sediment pollution is damaging to marine plants and wildlife. In water, sediment prevents plants from capturing the sunlight needed to survive. Many animals’ lives depend on aquatic plants for shelter, oxygen and food.

There are two coir-based products which are used specifically for erosion and sediment control; these are coir logs and coir mesh.

Coir Logs

Coir mesh

Coir logs are an ERSED staple, made from densely packed coconut fibre wrapped in a coir netting. The coir fibres work to trap and retain sediment, whilst allowing water to seep through. Coir logs can be secured in place with wooden stakes and are sometimes also used to protect stormwater drains. They are ideal and commonly used for preventing erosion on sloped banks and coastlines.

Coir Mesh

Coir mesh is highly effective at controlling erosion and stabilising soil, particularly on sloped banks and swales. When coir mesh is placed over exposed soil, the mesh acts as a barrier to prevent soil particles from being eroded by wind or water. It also helps the soil to retain moisture by limiting sun exposure. Coir mesh creates ideal conditions for plant growth. Slits can be cut in the mesh matting for new vegetation.

Coir’s Impact on the Surrounding Environment

Coir is safe for soil and can have positive and long-lasting impacts on the surrounding environment. It has a neutral pH level of around 6, making it suitable for most plants and vegetables. Coir logs and mesh will last for about 3 years on average. As they biodegrade, coir fibres release nutrients and provide added structure into the soil. These beneficial properties can remain in the soil for many years, even after the coir has noticeable biodegraded. Coir is the preferred choice of many landscapers because it is free of weed seeds, diseases and pathogens, and helps to retain moisture without becoming wet or soggy.

So there you have it, that’s how coir can be used to protect the environment. If you’re interested in using coir products to protect drains, absorb spills or manage erosion and sediment, we’ve compiled a selection of our most popular coir-based products below.

Our Most Popular Coir Products

  • Blackhawk Sediment Filter Mat – 1220 mm x 610mm

    Blackhawk Sediment Filter Mat makes drain protection simple. Magnetically attached to the storm water inlet’s grate, the vertically aligned coir fibres of the Blackhawk Filter Mat create a high flow, extremely effective sediment and debris filter.

    Scalloped edges and top surface inlet ports create an exceptionally large filtration surface that practically eliminates sediment and dramatically reduces the chances of street flooding.

    The Filter Mats are strong enough to withstand being driven over by machinery and trucks, making them superior to the traditional silt socks which often split.

    • No equipment installation – Filter Mat magnetically attaches to the inlet gate
    • Easy inspection and maintenance – the mat is above the grate
    • Dramatically reduces street flooding – sweep it clean after major rain events

    • Can be cleaned and reused
    • Made from Coir fibres – biodegradable
    • Easily removed and replaced

    Testing at an independent lab proves the new Blackhawk Inlet Filter Mat to be highly effective protection against sediment and debris clogging storm water inlets as well as greatly reducing the risk of street flooding. Toolless installation, easy maintenance and reusability make the Blackhawk Filter Mat the simple, reliable and cost-effective solution inlet protection has always needed.

    1220mm x 610mm

  • Coir Log – 200mm x 2.4m Length (MOQ 10)

    Stratex Coir Fibre Logs are made from natural coconut fibre bound by a 100% biodegradable coir fibre netting. Wooden Stake installation is quick and easy with pre-drilled holes. They are ideal for constructing check structures, sediment control, managing changes in stream flow velocity, shaping channels and stabilising banks and shorelines. 
    An environmentally friendly solution for bush regeneration projects, coir logs help hold moisture for tree and plant growth whilst providing a structure for vegetation to establish and take hold for long term stabilisation. 


    • Pre-drilled holes for quicker and easier stake installation
    • Save on installation time and costs
    • Uses less wooden stakes on installation
    • Higher density fibres for increased performance and life span
    • Dimensions: 200mm x 2.4m

    Manual Handling Risks with Coir Logs

    Some coir logs can be as large as 300mm in diameter and 3m long. On average these weigh over 20kg. They are heavy, cumbersome and usually require two people to unload and install on site. Given their length and weight, there is an increased risk of manual handling injury to operators. Stratex Coir Logs are 200mm diameter, 2.4m in length and weigh under 12kg, allowing safer handling by an individual operator. This unique sizing not only provides the benefit of lower freight cost to site, but more importantly are a safer and easier product to install.

    Minimum purchase quantity of 10.

    Pallet quantity: 30

  • Coir Mesh Matting – 2m x 25m x 700gsm

    Coir mesh is a heavy duty, lower cost alternative to jute matting. It can be used to stabilise sloped soil banks and swales, helping to retain moisture whilst preventing wind and rain erosion. Coir mesh can also prevent weed growth. Simply place coir mesh over soil and cut for vegetation as required. Mesh will biodegrade over time, enriching soil with added nutrients and structure.

    • Highly effective method to control erosion and stabilise soil
    • Made from coconut husk fibres, a renewable byproduct of the coconut production process
    • Acts as a barrier to prevent soil particles from being disturbed by wind and water
    • Helps plants establish and retains moisture in soil
    • Releases nutrients into soil as coir fibres slowly biodegrade over time
    • Prevents and inhibits weed growth
    • 2m x 25m to suit most applications
    • 700gsm thick and woven to withstand prolonged UV exposure and high water flow rates
    • Can be used in conjunction with other erosion control products such as coir logs, silt socks and silt fences
  • X700 Coir Spill Absorbent 50L

    Liquasorb X700 coir absorbent is made from 100% coconut husk. It is a lightweight and high performance granular absorbent, suitable for hazardous liquid spills including oils, fuels, lubricants, paint, most chemicals and corrosives. 

    Environmentally friendly Liquasorb is non-toxic and carcinogen free. It is a biodegradable, non-leaching and landfill safe alternative to clay absorbents. Liquasorb Coir Oil Absorbent sweeps clean and leaves no residue. 

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