6 Everyday Recycled Plastic Uses You’ve Never Considered

By Michael Kralstein | Plastics Recycling

Oct 11

With the growing focus on energy conservation and environmental preservation, you can expect the number of recycled plastic uses to continually increase. Why? Because the world is literally swimming in plastic waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 32 million tons of plastic was generated in 2012 with only 9% being recycled.

To help preserve natural resources and reduce the seas of plastic waste, more and more manufacturers are looking to incorporate recycled plastic uses in their processes. Just like virgin plastics, recycled plastic can be shaped into almost anything and is available in a nearly endless variety of colors.

If you're looking to find new recycled plastic uses for your business, AAA Polymer is proud to offer post consumer recycled (PCR) resins that can be used to create an endless list of products. Let's take a closer look at some of the recycled plastic uses you may have never considered.  

Can Liners Are Common Recycled Plastic Uses

Post consumer recycled (PCR) can liners offered at AAA Polymer are made with Trex Cardinal PCR resins. As the eco-friendly option, our PCR can liners represent an excellent way to reduce your facility's carbon footprint without sacrificing quality or paying more.

Our PCR can liners will reduce your reliance on "virgin" raw materials and can help your facility achieve its sustainability goals. In addition, utilizing PCR can liners in your facility is an excellent way to close the loop on your facility's recycling efforts. A few key highlights of our PCR can liners include:

  • Comparable pricing and strength as standard industry can liners.
  • Contains a minimum of 70% post-industrial sourced, clear reprocessed LDPE
  • Contains 20% certified Trex Cardinal LDPE resin

Learn more about PCR resins and download the AAA Polymer PCR brochure.

Building with Recycled Plastic Uses  

Recycled plastic lumber is an exceptionally durable material typically manufactured through HDPE recycling, such as plastic stretch film recycling. Plastic lumber looks almost identical to wood, but this highly versatile material is resistant to insects, moisture, and requires minimal maintenance.

Plastic lumber can be used to build swimming pool enclosures, railings, decks, fences, and much more. Most importantly, plastic lumber doesn't only offer aesthetic appeal — it's plastic, so you can rest assured it lasts and will divert plastic from landfills.  

Standing on Recycled Plastic Uses

Today, a growing number of companies are finding recycled plastic uses you can stand on with recycled plastic flooring. The versatile nature of plastic makes it a viable solution for tiles, planks, and more.

The durability of plastics makes plastic flooring especially ideal for rooms exposed to significant moisture or heat, such as basements, bathrooms, or patios. Today, manufacturers are creating recycled plastic tiles to mimic a variety of surfaces — ranging from stone to brick.

Carpets Made from Recycled Plastics

Another flooring recycled plastic use is carpeting. Recycled plastic carpeting is manufactured by stretching the melted resins into a fine thread, which is carefully woven into a durable, soft carpet fiber.

Recycled plastic carpeting is offered in an endless array of colors and styles. For instance,  Mohawk's eco-friendly carpet has allowed the organization to divert over 30 billion plastic bottles from landfills since 1999.

Recycled Plastic Can Serve as Insulation

Did you know manufacturers are finding innovative ways to incorporate recycled plastic uses into insulation? One company, InsulPro, utilizes discarded plastic bottles to manufacturer insulation for walls, roofs, and floors.

By weaving the recycled plastic resins into hollow fibers that trap air, the material is able to mimic insulation and keep homes warm in winter and cooler in summer. In addition to being a highly innovative recycled plastic use, this second-life insulation contributes to sustainability by reducing the energy used for cooling and heating homes.

Recycled Plastic Uses That Keep People Safe

The tough and durable nature of recycled plastic makes it the perfect material for safety products. Recycled plastic resins can be found in a variety of safety equipment, such as safety goggles, protective clothing, helmets, and first aid stations.

Since today's recycled plastic resins are just as reliable and durable as products made from virgin resins, recycled plastics can be used for the most sensitive applications. In addition to reliability and durability, recycled plastic is a good choice for safety equipment because:

  • Recycled plastic is easy to clean and maintain
  • ​Recycled plastic can be resistant to oils, chemicals, and solvents.

Recycled Plastic Uses That "Just Do It"

The global sports apparel manufacturer Nike recently said "Just Do It" to finding recycled plastic uses. Today, approximately 75% of all Nike shoes and apparel have some recycled content. In 2015, Nike manufactured the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team jerseys with an average of 18 recycled bottles. By searching for innovative recycled plastic uses in their manufacturing processes, Nike has diverted almost five billion plastic bottles from landfills.

Contact AAA Polymer to Find Your Recycled Plastic Uses

Since 1974, AAA Polymer has been a leader in delivering viable recycling solutions. We partner with businesses throughout the nation to provide commercial recycling solutions and Certified Destruction programs.

Most importantly, we're a reliable provider of a wide variety of high-quality post consumer recycled resins that can be used in your manufacturing processes. We'll use our decades of experience to help you close the loop on your recycling and find new ways to implement our PCR resins.

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About the Author

Michael Kralstein started working in sales full time for AAA Polymer in February 2000. In 2006, he became the Sales Manager of our can liner division. He currently manages all aspects related to can liners.

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