For younger generations the term recycling has always been a part of everyday language and vernacular, so it may require a moment to contemplate that the term literally means taking something and putting it back into the cycle of use. When depositing plastic bottles and containers into a recycling bin one traditionally thinks of it being recycled for a similar purpose, but recycling has gone outside of the box with creative new recycling options and products. Plastic water bottles are being used to create green clothing lines, play a big role in a green paint line, and more as scientists and environmentalists continue to find new ways to re-purpose and recycle plastics.



Green clothing brands have popped up with the main purpose of recycling plastic water bottles into high quality t-shirts and other clothing items. Playback clothing and Clothes Made From Scrap are two such lines, but now the bigger brands are getting on board. Puma is one of the latest brands to apply recycling and other green technologies in its clothing and accessories. Their new clothing line is really turning heads not only due to the design, but also because everything in the line is either biodegradable or recyclable. A major feat as the clothing industry has been one which has not been greened to the extent that the other industries have been. Plastics play a big role in Puma’s new eco-friendly line. PET bottles and propylene are two aspects of the plastic industry incorporated in clothing and backpacks made by Puma, and the items made from these materials can later be broken back down into raw materials which can be recycled into a number of new products. In terms of the biodegradable aspect of the line, a new plastic material known as APINATbio is employed as a biodegradable sole for a running shoe made of other biodegradable materials. Running shoes for little ones are quickly outgrown, while active adults need to replace shoes every few months in order to maintain proper support and functioning, so this is a major coup for the recycling world.


Green home design has typically involved reusing and re-purposing, and a focus on non-toxic products. Paint companies have now found a way to add some of the green factor to every color palette. Sherwin Williams has won awards with its newly formulated paint with a low level of VOCs that is composed of recycled plastic bottles along with other earth friendly components such as soybean oils. Those looking for a fresh look for their home can choose this eco-friendly product to ensure that their home project also benefits the natural world as well.

Everyday Items

The uses of plastic are truly endless, and are being utilized in a number of products people come into contact with every day. Some plastics are recycled into ultra-thin book pages, while others show up in green carpets made of plastic bottles. Shoppers, students, work out enthusiasts, and many others make use of tote bags on a daily basis. Tote bags are another place plastics are being recycled into lasting products that fill a consumer need. Play equipment for children, sleeping bags used during camping trips, and tranquil hammocks perfect for spending lazy afternoons all are incorporating recycled plastics into their design in an effort to make products with less environmental impacts.

It is exciting to see how the recycling industry continues to evolve by finding revolutionary ways to reuse plastics, which have become an essential material for modern living.

Erik Dries has extensive experience working with cast polyurethane for multiple applications. He enjoys sharing his experiences on various blogs.