Looking to live a greener lifestyle? Next time you’re replenishing school supplies, look for products made with recycled plastics and other recycled materials. From backpacks to pencils to lunch containers, many school essentials now are made with recycled plastics—creating another life for these valuable materials.
And schools also are jumping on the eco bandwagon by choosing products for classrooms and school grounds made with durable, recycled plastics. Incorporating these products into school life is a smart way to teach children the importance of caring for the environment. And it’s a perfect complement to your school recycling program.
Here are some examples …
Recycled content products for students
- Backpack: Every kid needs a backpack that can stand up to a year (or more) of hauling heavy books and other school essentials. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to find stylish, durable backpacks made with recycled plastics that keep valuable materials out of landfills.
- Laptop sleeve: You may have spent a small fortune on your child’s laptop—so why take a chance? Purchase a laptop sleeve made with cushioning recycled plastics to help protect your investment—and the environment. There’s a variety of stylish designs and fun colors available to suit many tastes.
- Pencils: Look for pens, pencils, markers and other classroom necessities that help keep used plastics out of landfills. For example, one major brand sells colorful mechanical pencils made with 76 percent recycled plastics.
- Reusable lunch containers: Airtight plastic containers help keep food fresh until lunchtime. Insulated lunch bags and resealable containers made with durable recycled plastics can help prevent food waste and landfill waste by averting spoilage and keeping useful plastics out of landfills.
- Reusable water bottle: Reusable water bottles made with recycled plastics now are available in lots of cool colors and designs. Make sure to clean them well after use!
Recycled content products for schools
- Lockers: Recycled plastics are becoming a new go-to material for lockers in schools. According to one manufacturer, each locker diverts 500 milk jugs from landfills, and the plastics are tough enough to resist vandalism and break-ins.
- Playground equipment: Many schools have playground equipment made with recycled plastics, such as HDPE from used milk jugs. Several thousand milk jugs can be used to make equipment for a single playground. Who knew recycling could be so much fun?
- Playground mulch: Recycled plastics are rapidly growing in popularity as a way to provide a softer surface on playgrounds to help reduce injuries. Used tires, made of synthetic rubber which is actually plastic, are either chopped into cushioning mulch or re-formed into durable mats.
- Picnic tables and benches: Schools are increasingly turning to recycled plastic outdoor tables and seating made with used plastic containers and grocery bags. Thanks to the durability of plastics, these products are weather resistant, nearly maintenance free, and tough enough to stand up to years of use.
- Other outdoor items: From bike racks to trash receptacles to garden planters, recycled plastics are used to make a wide range of decorative and functional products for schoolyards. Recycled plastics are an ideal material for rugged schoolyard equipment that gives something back to the environment.