6 Awesome Products Made From Recycled Waste Materials

A selection of recycled products on a wooden table

Recycling is commonplace in homes and workplaces, and many items we use daily were once something else.

Despite becoming routine, there is more to recycling than an old plastic bottle becoming a new one.

Many materials, aside from conventional plastic and glass, can be recycled and turned into an array of weird and wonderful creations.

Recycled Shoes

Sports shoe made from recycled material

Adidas announced it would eliminate its use of virgin polyester by 2024, with the sports giant using upcycled marine plastic waste in some of its latest sports shoes.

But the well-known brand isn’t the only company offering sustainable footwear, with Yatay laying claim to the first ‘bio-sneaker’ made from wood, cereals, recycled tyres and water bottles.

Converse even offers an eco-take on their classic Chuck Taylor, made from 30-40% recycled manufacturing waste, including leftovers from their own factory.


Recycled wooden coffins

While the thought of coffins is initially bleak, an eco-friendly casket is a great choice for the environmentally minded.

Co-op Funeral Care state they have seen a rise in demand for green funerals, and a recycled coffin is an easy way to integrate sustainability into end-of-life ceremonies.

There is an assortment of recycled coffins available, with Creative Coffins offering cardboard options, 70% of which is made from reused material.


Yellow recycling sign on a tarmac road

Roads and paving made from recycled waste material are becoming increasingly common, whether that’s from reusing old road materials like part of the A10 motorway in France, or plastic recycling innovations found worldwide.

Stretches of roads across the globe now include discarded plastic, from wrappers to bottles, that were once destined for landfill or incineration.

Plastic road company, MacRebur, have had their products used internationally within asphalt in motorways, roundabouts, runways and even racetracks.

Chewing Gum

Pink chewing gum balls

One unlikely material that can be recycled is chewing gum, and it can be used to make all manner of new and useful items.

Gumdrop is a British initiative which encourages people to dispose of their gum responsibly, and in turn recycle it into Gum-tec – a range of compounds which can then be used for rubber and plastic materials such as shoes, coffee cups, and packaging.

Gumdrop bins can now be located in areas throughout the UK, including Legoland and Southampton Airport.


Eco-friendly toothbrushes

Toothbrushes can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, both in a marine or landfill setting, therefore, it is probably no surprise they are undergoing a green revamp.

In 2020, Unilever launched a toothbrush made from 100% recycled plastic.

The design is made from 100% food-grade post-consumer recycled plastic while containing 40% less plastic than a standard toothbrush.

Recycled Carpets

Rolling up a recycled carpet

Most carpeting is made from plastic fibres, and in recent years manufacturers have been able to create these fibres from recycled materials, such as plastic bottles.

Not only can carpets be produced from recycled plastic waste, but UK-based brand Sedna offers flooring made from regenerated nylon, comprised of recycled waste material such as old carpets and abandoned fishing nets collected from the bottom of the sea.

This has the added benefit of making oceans a safer environment for sea creatures such as turtles and dolphins that often become entangled in the waste.

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