Something Old, Something New: 10 Surprising Products Made from Recycled Materials

Many of the items you recycle are reused in predictable ways. For example, most aluminum cans and sheets of paper will be used to manufacture more soda containers and paper products. But if you don’t work in the recycling industry, it may surprise you to learn how many other recyclables are used.

In this blog post, we list 10 surprising products that can be manufactured entirely or partially out of items in your recycling container- a supporting post to our past article, 11 surprising items you can recycle.

Products-Recycled-Materials

1. Asphalt

While you may think of asphalt as a single substance, modern asphalt actually contains several different materials to create the right surface for roads, parking lots and driveways.

The asphalt you drive on in your daily life may contain rubber from tires and reused asphalt from roof shingles. The paint and reflectors used to help you navigate these roads may also contain recycled materials, like glass.

2. Bricks

Like asphalt, you may think of bricks in their finished form rather than as a combination of several materials. Bricks manufactured today may contain cullets, or finely ground glass pieces, created from discarded bottles, dishes and other glass items.

3. Cat Litter

Some of the best quality cat litter currently on the market contains old newspapers and other recycled paper products. Because of its recycled content, this sustainable alternative to clay-based litter produces less dust and is more economical to produce.

4. Clothing

Many clothing manufacturers have begun to include recycled materials in their products, specifically plastic fibers from discarded bottles. Plastic fibers are used in a variety of fabrics including nylon, polyester outerwear lining and spandex.

This recycled plastic is most commonly found in athletic wear, like sports jerseys. However, thin plastic fibers can also be found in some of the softest synthetic clothing on the market, which is normally made using polyester.

5. Faux Wood

Faux-wood construction materials give many projects a desirable natural look without the expense or environmental impact of real wood. For example, engineered decking materials can look like real lumber but consist primarily of plastic. Grocery bags, plastic wrap and similar thin plastics are often used for this type of recycling.

6. Playgrounds

Many older playgrounds feature items manufactured with new materials and have a high cost and environmental impact. Today’s playgrounds may feature flexible ground covering made from shredded tires as well as eco-friendly slides, swings and other plastic  components made from recycled milk jugs.

7. Shopping Carts

Plastic shopping carts are more lightweight and often easier to control than conventional metal carts. To make these newer carts an even better alternative to metal shopping carts, manufacturers use mostly recycled plastics to create the cart components.

8. Sporting Equipment

When you participate in your favorite pastime, you may also be supporting sustainable manufacturing. Many types of sports balls, including tennis and golf balls, include recycled rubber or plastic. Additionally, aluminum baseball bats may contain push pins, license plates and other reused metal items.

9. Toothbrushes

While you may balk at the thought of a reused toothbrush, brush handles made from discarded yogurt cups and other plastics are cheaper to manufacture and are perfectly sanitary. Currently, all toothbrush bristles are made from new materials, but in the future they may contain hygienically reused items as well.

10. Trophies

Manufacturers don’t just use recycled materials to enable you to play sports, they also recycle items to help you celebrate your sporting victories. Plaques and trophies may include a variety of recycled materials, from old paper to ground glass.

Every recycled item goes toward making manufacturing and construction industries more sustainable. Make recycling a priority in your home and at your business to contribute to preservation of both the local and global environment.