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In the United States, only 9 percent of the plastic that ends up in the recycling bin actually gets recycled. In Europe, that figure is around 40 percent. For two regions that pride themselves on innovation, those percentages could be significantly higher.
Enter recycled plastic furniture: made of post-consumer recycled material derived from everything from toys, milk jugs, detergent bottles, HDPE plastics, packaging, squeeze bottles, plastic pipes and more, here are 10 pieces as good look as they are resourceful.
Above: Some of our favorite recycled furniture designs are from Antwerp-based Eco Birdy. Made of recycled plastic toys, a dense type of plastic not easily broken down, the Richard Armchair and Judy Side Table in Faded White is €920 at Eco Birdy.
Above: The Blu Dot Decade Chair shown in Putty is made of 100 percent recycled polypropylene and glass fiber for strength; $145 at Blu Dot.
Above: In a Paris apartment designed by Merci, a desk made of steel clamp legs is paired with a recycled plastic table top from SAS Minimum, a group of designers devoted to making use of plastic waste. Their signature speckled slab material, Le Pavé, is made of recycled plastic; contact SAS Minimum for price and ordering information.
Above: Designed by Mexican firm Paola Calzada for Luken, a line of plastic furniture includes the Mesa Table seen here; $3,500 at Luken. To make their flat pack furniture, HDPE plastic is cleaned, shredded, and separated by color, then melted into 12mm-thick panels. Each piece recycles 600 bottles of polyethylene.
Above: An early adopter of the recycled plastic movement, Loll Designs makes a wide range of furniture for outdoor and even indoor use. The Slider Credenza in Charcoal Grey ($1,195) shown here, is one of the many pieces made from recycled milk jugs (the lack of pigment in milk jug plastic makes it possible for Loll to color their pieces in vibrants shades).
Above: From Norwegian Trash, the Resurface 01 Table is made of waste plastic and in spite of its material, the table is designed to be heavy to resemble stone more than lightweight plastic; 12,500 kr at Norwegian Trash.
Above: Designed in collaboration with Jasper Morrison for Emeco, the Stacking Chair, shown here in Light Grey, is made of 88 percent waste polypropylene; $330 at Emeco.
Above: From London- and Milan-based Supernovas, the Afterlife Odd Matter Bench in Milk, is made from two streams of recycled plastic (PE and PET) from bottles, packaging, squeeze bottles, toys, gas and water pipes. The bench is £2,160 at Supernovas.
Above: The Thing Thing Side Table from Floyd is made using 100 percent post industrial plastic sourced from the Detroit area automotive and toy factories.
Above: Dutch designer Dirk Vander Kooij’s Dining Ellipse 7p Table has a painterly effect and is made of post consumer plastic material; 10,496 at Kooij.
Above: Designed by Gibson Karlo for Design by Them, the Butter Bench is made from recycled HDPE plastic and designed for indoor or outdoor use; $530.
Above: Another design from Eco Birdy of note is the Kids’ Art Set Corner including a table and two chairs; €620 at Eco Birdy.
Looking for more furniture designs? See our posts: