Recycled Outdoor Furniture
Eco-friendly Green Materials Gain in Popularity, by Garden Village Furniture
New environmentally friendly recycled plastics are coming to market with beautiful, bold designs that bring great style, comfort and durability to outdoor furniture.
It’s called HDPE furniture, or High Density Polyethlene, and it’s one of the fastest-growing categories in the outdoor furniture market.
Made from recycled plastic milk containers and water bottles, HDPE furniture is, most likely, the most durable type of outdoor material on the market, and it’s becoming a mainstream choice in outdoor furniture design, not only because it’s built to last, but new technologies in manufacturing are creating some of the most stylish and colorful pieces among traditional wood and metal competitors.
EON, a company that manufactures a leading brand of recycled decking and outdoor furniture, notes that the HDPE category is growing between 20-30 percent each year, while wood furniture sales have fallen to about five percent. HDPE comes in a wide palette of color choices and designs, from casual to high style, and its finish mimics wood products without the need for any type of maintenance to keep it looking super.
The trade journal Hearth & Home, which covers news in the patio industry, touts HDPE’s competitive costs — much lower than teak and other tropical hard woods — and “wood-like” durability that will last a lifetime. And unlike imported teak, “Brazilian” cherry, and mahagony, much of the HDPE furniture is being made here in the U.S.
Reasons to like HDPE:
Wide range of colors and styles
New category for environmentally-conscious lifestyles
Virtually maintenance free
Able to withstand temperature extremes
Unaffected by saltwater and chlorine
UV stabilizers resist fading and dulling
Will not splinter, stain, rust or peel
When comparing HDPE products to wood products, recycled excels in its ability to hold up to environmental conditions, whether it’s harsh, direct sunlight, freezing temperatures, snow, rain or saltwater. Because of its high durability, HDPE doesn’t need to be stored or covered to keep it looking good.
Going Beyond Green
Another factor separating HDPE from other outdoor materials is its “greenness.” Many U.S. manufacturers have integrated HDPE’s environmental appeal into their manufacturing processes too. In addition to using post-consumer plastics to create the product, many HDPE items can be recycled themselves so there is no negative impact on the environment if you decide down the line to get rid of a piece.
That line of thinking is building a trend that is moving HDPE beyond the term “green” and toward “sustainable” living practices, where companies actually plan for how their end product is made in consideration with environmental standards. It’s not just about making a product from recycled materials, but making a product in a way that itself will not negatively impact the environment, and that includes how it will be disposed of.
Casual Living, which manufactures the Breezesta line of recycled outdoor furniture from 100 percent recycled components, is a big proponent of sustainable manufacturing in both product production and manufacturing operations. It’s recycled line comes in 20 designer colors and require only soap and water wash ups.
The trend in HDPE’s growth shows that its sustainable nature makes for not only great-looking furniture pieces but for environmentally sound products too.