One man’s trash is another man’s totally awesome eco-friendly product! Check out my roundup of products made using post-consumer recycled materials, below.
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With America Recycles Day just around the corner, recycling has definitely been on my mind more than usual. I’m always so amazed by the ingenious ways companies are using recyclables to create functional and earth-friendly products. Why buy new and contribute to the waste cycle when you can support the businesses that are trying to tackle it!
Why Buy Recycled?
Buying products that are 100% recycled is a wonderful way to save natural resources like mined metals, trees, and petroleum. Typically, the manufacturing processes used to create these products also requires less energy to produce.
For example, recycled aluminum sheets can be made with 95% less power than virgin aluminum sheets. Recycled materials also cut pollution and save on water as well; not to mention the way they prevent our garbage from dying slowly in a landfill.
While as a zero waste advocate my preference will always be to avoid products like aluminum foil altogether, buying products made from post-consumer recycled content is a great step in the right direction. I absolutely support it. Keep voting with your dollars, people! The market will always go where the cash is. And these days, recyclables are a huge commodity.
10 Brilliant New Products Using Recycled Materials
The marketplace is full of creative, recycled products. Here are ten of my absolute favorites!
1. Looptworks Upcycled Messenger Bag
One of my personal favorites, Looptworks, is an industry expert when it comes to using recycled materials. In the past, they’ve found creative ways to use everything from old neoprene wetsuits to recycled polyester!
These upcycled messenger bags are made from scraps of excess bag leather and 1680 polyester from manufacturers who would normally throw it away! This sort of discard can amount to 4500 pounds per day from just a single factory…
This fab messenger bag can fir everything you need in it, and look great doing so! It even has a handy 15″ laptop sleeve.
2. Dakine Campus 33L Backpack
With all the recent press, it should be no surprise that a lot of the plastic we produce ends up in the ocean. This is why clothing manufacturer, Dakine, started making bags made with 100 per cent recycled PET fabric from plastic bottles.
This fabulous backpack comes in a range of prints and offers incredible features such as a 15″ laptop sleeve, an insulated cooler compartment, an organizer compartment and an adjustable chest strap. It’s perfect for both school and adventures!
Not in the market for a backpack? Dakine is making recycled totes, carry-ons, and duffles as well.
3. Green Toys Play Sets
These adorable retro kids toys are made out of 100% recycled plastic – primarily from used plastic milk jugs! They’ve been cleverly repurposed into eco-friendly kid’s toys (including some great beach toys) without any harmful coatings, paints, or dyes, making them the perfect gift!
They’ve also put thought into their packaging which is entirely recycled and recyclable, with no plastic films – a great zero waste solution.
4. Motown Label Vinyl Record Bowl
Old vinyl records that are scratched, warped, or otherwise played out, find a new home with Records & Stuff – a company that gives them a new lease on life by repurposing them into functional and funky bowls instead!
This would make an amazing gift for any Motown fan… And you can feel good about buying recycled instead of new.
5. Coal Headware The Eddie Beanie
Repurposed cotton scraps from the manufacturing industry, chemical-free processing, and recycled materials… these beanies from Coal Headware just get better and better!
Made in the USA and available in a wide range of colors, The Eddie may just be the perfect beanie to keep your noggin warm this winter. It’d also make a fabulous gift…
6. Upcycled Canvas Shoulder Bag
Innovative brand Myra Bag produce fun and creative bags out of recycled canvas and military tents! Available in a wide range of styles and prints, there is really something for everyone in their range. We particularly love this shoulder bag which is big enough to use as a day bag and fit all your essentials!
7. Baseball Bat Bottle Openers
These bottle openers, made from bats swung by famous Major Leaguers, are a perfect gift for the baseball lovers in your life. Plus, each opener is carefully marked with a number, which when plugged into the maker’s web database, can help you find out which game the bat was played in. Such a cool way to repurpose something in a meaningful way!
8. Preserve Toothbrush
Preserve, a Certified B Corporation that makes bath, kitchen, and tabletop products, collects often un-recycled #5 plastics to make toothbrushes and razors. So, while I’m not typically a fan of plastics, Preserve is relatively purposeful in their thinking.
Toothbrushes can be dropped in one of their Gimme 5 bins that are located around the country, or mailed back to the company to continue the recycling loop. We can get on board with that!
9. Rothy’s Flats
These darling ballet flats are made entirely from recycled plastic water bottles. Plus, they’re also carbon-free, recyclable, moisture-wicking, hand-assembled, and machine washable. Does it get any better than that? Why not support ‘good’ when searching for your next pair of shoes!
10. Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat
B Kind 2 Urth yoga mats are made out of recycled bottles and organic natural tree rubber, making them the perfect companion for your yoga practice! They’re also loaded with other fantastic features such as alignment guide positioning, high sweat absorbency, easy to clean surface and superb grip.
The yoga mats pack up small making them a great mat too. You’ll never want to go back to a ‘normal’ yoga mat after trying these!
It’s now easier than ever before to buy products made with recycled materials! Which is your favorite?
Tuesday 28th of February 2023
Where do I navigate... on developing a recycled product have a innovated idea that I wish to persue
Monday 3rd of August 2020
Id like to see a program to rate stores on the amount of products sold made of recycled product. Like the blue zone project except for greencycled products. Shelf stickers and certifications etc.
Tuesday 15th of May 2018
I absolutely loved your final paragraph. When companies selling products made from reclaimed materials thrive, many more would be encouraged to take up similar endeavours. Let's be mindful consumers
Wednesday 9th of May 2018