Make over your home and contribute to sustainability

Home makeover TV shows are all the rage, inspiring many Americans to transform the appearances of their kitchens, living rooms, patios and even playrooms.

If you’re like many eco-conscious consumers, you may wonder how to make over a room with the environment in mind. Fortunately, that’s becoming easier thanks in part to the growth in recycling – particularly plastics recycling. Now you can give your home a new look and contribute to sustainability by recycling more plastics and seeking out furnishings made with recycled plastics.

Recycle more plastics

Plastics recycling is expanding rapidly as the types of plastics that are collected and the amount of material recycled continues to increase.

While many people focus predominately on recycling in the kitchen, you likely have a variety of recyclable plastics throughout your home: bottles and containers for shampoo, conditioner, lotion, mouthwash, medicine and more in the bathroom; plastics from ketchup, drinks, and deli foods on the patio; even plastic bags and film for dry cleaning, paper towel rolls, groceries and more (bags and film usually go back to participating retail stores for recycling instead of your curbside bin).

You can easily learn what plastics are collected in your community by visiting and entering your ZIP code. Recycling keeps valuable plastics out of landfills and to help with your eco-conscious home makeover, plastics can live on as furniture and accessories for every room of your home.

Here’s a look at some recycled plastic pieces that can help transform a living space and also help the environment.

Outdoor living space

A growing number of companies are using recycled plastics to create comfortable, durable outdoor furniture. From tables to benches to Adirondack chairs, you can find a variety of styles and colors to suit just about any patio or backyard. Try accessorizing with colorful, shatter-resistant tableware made with recycled plastics and a bold outdoor rug to tie everything together. There is also is a wide range of outdoor gardening products, from planters to birdhouses to garden edging, made with recycled plastics.


It’s easier than ever to find handy kitchen accessories made with recycled plastics from milk jugs, yogurt containers and other packaging. Look for items such as cutting boards, mixing bowls, utensils and tableware. Many of these items are designed with a clean, modern aesthetic that’s perfect for updating a kitchen. Thanks to the durability of plastics, these kitchen tools will stand up to years of use and dishwashing.

Living room

A few well-chosen decorative, functional pieces made with recycled plastics can work wonders to brighten up a bland living room. For example, a floor rug with an eye-catching pattern can add instant life to a room. Pillows and throw blankets made with recycled plastics that are woven into soft, long-lasting fabrics can add color and comfort. And plastics from packaging such as yogurt cups and margarine containers are used to make sophisticated seating options that work great in living rooms. These recycled plastic furnishings, in vivid colors and on-trend prints – such as bold chevrons – can really punch up a room.


It’s easy to create a more comfortable atmosphere in the bathroom by adding beautiful accessories made with recycled plastics. An easy trick: create warmth and texture with a patterned floor rug. You can find these at many retailers in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors to suit any bathroom layout. Colorful woven baskets made with recycled plastics. These baskets are a stylish way to keep your bathroom organized. These versatile pieces are available in many sizes and they’re great for storing extra towels for guests, bathroom tissue, and toiletries.