Plastic bottle use is inevitable. It’s unlikely that even the most committed environmentalist will be able to go through their life without drinking from a plastic bottle at some point. But, while the use of plastic bottles is inevitable, bottles ending up in a landfill is not.
Here are seven ways plastic bottles are finding new life:
Your downward dog can be sustainable too. Several companies have started converting recycled materials into yoga mats (even materials like old wetsuits), so it is not surprising that plastic bottles have made their way into the mix. This mat from Yoga Design Lab is entirely sustainable. Not only does it upcycle plastic bottles, it uses natural tree rubber and water-based prints.
If you have a dog, chances are you are well aware of the plethora of gear options out there for our four-legged furry friends. So why not make that gear sustainable? Now, a collar made from plastic bottles like this one can outfit your dog.
Sustainable shoes have been a growing trend over the last several years, and few companies have embraced this surge toward environmentally friendly products as much as Allbirds. Other show companies are recycling plastic bottles, but Allbirds goes the extra mile. The company uses recycled water bottles for their shoelaces, and other sustainable products comprise the rest of the shoe. They’re even sharing their sustainability processes with other companies! Full disclosure: I own three different styles, and they are my most worn shoes.
We all have to lug our gear from place to place. So, shouldn’t we do it sustainably? Backpacks from companies like Onya fit that bill, upcycling plastic bottles to help you carry everything you need on the go.
Plastic pollution in our oceans is a HUGE problem. So, it is fitting that some companies are keeping plastic bottles out of the ocean by converting them into swimwear. Companies like Batoko are doing their part to reduce plastic waste while making swimwear fashion a little more sustainable.
Not to be outdone by swimwear companies, activewear companies are recycling plastic bottles to create the coolest gear to move about in. One example is the collaboration between Adidas and Parley Ocean Plastic, which gathers ocean plastic pollution gathered from coastlines, converting it into the yarn that makes up their high-performance gear. It’s not just well-known athletic companies that are embracing this shift. Smaller companies like Team Timbuktu, which has recycled over 75,000 plastic bottles to produce their activewear and other lines, are doing their part.
The final item on our list is an unexpected one: surfboard fins. The global surfer population is estimated to be somewhere between 17 million and 35 million surfers. There are already a lot of surfboard fins, but the number of surfboards in existence is likely much, much higher. The Five Oceans ecoFin is blazing a path forward for a more sustainable sport comprised solely of recycled plastic waste from Indonesia.
Enjoy your sustainable product shopping spree!
Kelvey Vander Hart is a native Iowan, a member of the American Conservation Coalition, and a communications specialist at Reason Foundation.