A Tough Look in Recycled Plastic to Your House

Sep - 25

A Tough Look in Recycled Plastic to Your House

Plastic has its own fair share of health and production concerns, and very low recycling rates, because of the complexity of sorting, consumer confusion and pure economics. But it’s difficult to escape plastic completely. Considering alternative substances, recycling sensibly and reusing as much as possible tends to be the very best way to cope with this material monster.

While many would argue that it’s barely a sound ecofriendly option, recycled plastic is a highly durable material with a range of applications that really does — in some small way — reduce the quantity of plastic going into landfills.

Natasha Barrault Design

The Basics

Compared with other materials such as glass and metal, plastic polymers require far more processing through recycling. The composition of different plastics differs significantly. When heated, they can divide like water and oil, so everything has to be sorted according to almost identical chemical compositions.

If recycling vinyl is such a pain, why bother? According to a research by Columbia University, it’s projected that in 2008, 33.6 million tons of postconsumer plastic waste was created in the USA. Of that only 6.5 percent was 7.7 percentage was burnt for energy. This usually means that 28.9 million tons of plastic went to landfills.

In addition, the plastic recycling process uses up to 66 percent less energy than generating new plastic and releases 250 percent less carbon dioxide.

The recycled vinyl Tubtrugs (bins) in this photo offer flexible storage, are highly durable and can be used over and over.

Samuel H. Williamson Associates

The flexibility of recycled vinyl is demonstrated in this garden, where a bender board created from 100% recycled plastic produces a border for the curved route.

Pros: Unlike timber, recycled vinyl products not rot, promote mold growth or need paint or toxic preservatives. Recycled plastic has come a very long way in design terms. It’s highly durable and can be very appealing, often coming in a range of bright colors.

Factors: Check your recycled merchandise is recyclable and the best way to eliminate it. Also assess the percentage of recycled material to be clear on just what it is you are purchasing and its recommended usage. In the end, look at where your recycled merchandise was created to reduce the impact of unnecessary transportation.

TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design


the most frequent recycled vinyl, HDPE (high-density polyethylene) comes out of water pipes and bottles (marked using a number 2 at the recycling symbol). HDPE is often downcycled into products such as plastic lumber, garden furniture, garden planters, roadside curbs, trash receptacles and exterior trims — such as the one on this contemporary farmhouse in Vermont.

Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc

Recycled PVC (polyvinyl chloride) has a better ecological footprint than virgin PVC, using up to 46 percent less energy in its creation. Used predominantly in flooring and construction materials, PVC is extremely durable and has good fire resistance.

This cheerful Piet Mondrian–motivated playhouse is clad in Azek panels created entirely from recycled PVC.

Susan Diana Harris Interior Design

Soft drink and water bottles will normally display the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) triangle markers (or number 1 at the recycling mark) on each jar. As it’s made in the same mix as polyester, PET can be recycled to produce fibers for fabrics. For example, the carpet fiber within this hall rug was created from recycled plastic bottles.

PET fiber is similar to nylon in terms of durability and resistance to wear, and has the moisture protection, stain resistance and colour remain of olefin.

Holly Marder

The decking on the front door of the Australian beach house is made of a combination of recycled plastic milk bottles and wood fiber.

Beccy Smart Photography

The gorgeous bathtub in this London home, created by Durat, was created of 30% postindustrial waste from Sweden and Finland.

2 level design

Of course, reuse is the easiest and most affordable eco-friendly option. If you are able to find a way to give an old vinyl item a new residence or new lifestyle, do it! This adorable piece of art sets old children’ toys to use.

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