Plastic is made to stand the test of time, but sadly most plastic items are used just once. Globally, eight million tonnes of plastic waste is dumped into our oceans. When they enter the ocean, they put our precious marine wildlife in danger.
But it’s possible to move away from single-use plastic and ensure our plastic waste doesn’t end up in landfills and in nature.
There are plenty of businesses and organisations changing the game by moving away from selling products and services made from virgin plastics. Instead, they’ve chosen to make a difference by helping to get plastics out of our oceans, out of landfills, and turn them into recycled products with a new, purposeful life.
So, what are the coolest items made out of recycled plastic?
We scoured the net to find out. Here’s a list of brands that are selling cool products made from recycled (and upcycled) plastics.
*** It’s important to note that whenever and wherever possible, use what you already own. ***
1. ReefCycle sunglasses
From deadly gill net to sustainable fashion. ReefCycle sunglasses is a collaboration between WWF and VisionDirect with an ambition to give ocean plastics a second life. These stylish sunglasses have been made using 100% of the upcycled gill net that WWF supporters helped buy and remove from the Great Barrier Reef’s northern waters.
The first 1,000 pairs of ReefCycle sunglasses will be personalised with the marine animal of your choice and comes in polarised, non-polarised and prescription options.
PRE-ORDER YOUR PAIR NOW
Disclaimer: WWF is not affiliated with the following brands and there are no affiliate links.
2. Sustainable activewear
Get ready to work out in environmentally friendly style! Team Timbuktu is a small Australian business that creates sustainable clothes for active lifestyles, including tech jackets, leggings and crop tops. They’re ethically made and use fabric that’s made from post-consumer recycled plastic water bottles.
3. ‘Get to the Shopper’ bag
We love a good Arnold Shwazzenger pun, but we also love sustainable fashion. The ‘Get to the Shopper’ bag from Ahimsa Collective is made from washable paper and lined with 100% ecoprene, made from post-consumer plastic bottles. They also make a range of other bags, totes and clutches from sustainable materials.
4. Recycled rubber planters
Millennials and plant lovers unite! You can now pot up your lush plant babies into these recycled rubber planters from Upcycle Studio. They’re made from recycled tyres that were destined for landfill but have now found a second life in the home and garden.
5. Ocean-friendly dog collars
Does your new pupper or doggo need a new collar or leash? AniPal was founded by RSPCA Veterinarian Steph Stubbe after treating a number of wildlife suffering terrible injuries due to human pollution. Their dog accessories are made from recycled ocean plastics and environmental waste.
6. Mats and rugs made from recycled materials
Need of a nice new rug, childcare mat, camping mat or picnic rug? Recycled Mats has a fabulous range to choose from. Their products are authentically designed by Indigenous artists and made from recycled polypropylene.
7. Natural and recycled shoes
If you’re in need of a new pair of kicks but want something natural, Allbirds have some great choices. Claiming to be the ‘World’s most comfortable shoe’ and moving away from synthetic materials, their shoes are made from sustainable wool, recycled plastic bottles and cardboard.
One recycled plastic bottle equals one pair of laces and they use around 60% less energy and greenhouse gas emissions during the manufacturing process, so your carbon footprint is lower.
8. Yoga mats made from recycled wetsuits
Suga has reincarnated old wetsuits that would’ve been destined for landfill into these comfy yoga mats. So far they’ve recycled over 27,000 wetsuits and counting!
9. Eco-friendly Jenga
Everyone’s favourite tumbling tower game now comes in an eco-friendly option. Jenga® Ocean has been made from 100% recycled fishing nets, and each set is made from over 25 square feet of net.
10. Recycled plastic swimwear
Get your dose of sun, sand and surf while wearing Batoko’s vibrant swimwear. To date, Batoko has recycled the weight of over 220,000 plastic bottles into swimwear. Their designs are colourful, funky and great for wildlife lovers as their prints come in orca, puffin, shark and more.
If you’re after swimwear that’s a little more minimalist but still made from recycled materials, have a look at Baiia Swimwear, Salt Gypsy, Shapes in the Sand and Seapia.
11. Ghost net stockings
Swedish Stockings make sustainable hosiery that is shipped worldwide. Their Elin Premium tights are knitted in 20 denier ECONYL, which is 100% regenerated yarn made from ghost nets that have been lost, abandoned and discarded at sea.
12. Eco-friendly blankets
Get cozy sustainably with these eco-friendly blankets by Seljak Brand, made in Tasmania. Their blankets are made from 70% recycled Australian merino wool and a 30% blend of recycled alpaca, mohair and polyester. Since 2016, they’ve diverted over 2,200 kg of textile waste from ending up in landfill.
13. Recycled plastic waste sorting bins
Go full circle with EcoBins range of waste sorting bins made out of… you guessed it, recycled plastic! You can now sort your waste at home or in the office according to landfill, soft plastics, mixed-recycling, paper and cardboard and organic waste. The best part is that these bins are fully recyclable, so at the end of their lifecycle you can just pop them into your recycling bin.
14. Recycled plastic building materials and outdoor furniture
Replas is an Australian plastic recycling company that turns a mix of plastics and household waste into a vast range of products that are used across the country. So if you’re looking for outdoor furniture, new decking, fencing, signage or any sort of construction and building materials made from recycled plastic, Replas is the place to go.
15. Backpack made from recycled bottles
The Onya Backpack is a practical bag made from rPET (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate) - the material you get when you recycle old plastic water bottles into fibre. Each backpack is made from up to 10 plastic bottles and there are 16 colours to choose from (all named after Australian nature, like ‘Boab Tree’, ‘Eucalyptus’, ‘Kookaburra’ and more).
16. Surfboard fins made from recycled waste
Australian brand Five Oceans have made the ecoFin - the world’s first surfboard fin made from recycled post-consumer waste from Indonesia. Around 100 plastic bottle caps go into an ecoFin and their supply chain includes rubbish from the beaches of Bali. Sustainable surf’s up!
17. Reusable and recycled cups for events
Hosting a large party or event? Globelet allows you to rent or buy reusable cups and bottles for Stadiums, offices and other venues. Once the party’s over, return them to be washed and reused. They have a range of cups made from post-industrial and pre-consumer plastic products that were defective and never made it into consumers hands.
In the last 8 years, they’ve stopped over 21 million disposable plastics from going into landfill and entering oceans around Australia and New Zealand.
Don’t let nature go to waste.
Urge our Australian politicians to phase out the 10 worst single-use plastics today.
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