Canadian Plastics Industry Association

Canadian Plastics Industry Association

July 20, 2011 10:32 ET

Take Another Look at Recycled Plastics!

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 20, 2011) - Have you ever wondered what happens to the plastic bottles you throw in the recycling bin or the plastic bags and wraps you bring back to the grocery store? Though recycled plastics might be out-of-mind once the raw material leaves your hand, they are far from out-of-sight. Chances are, these valuable materials have already made their way back into your home or your car – you might even be wearing them!

Innovative uses of recycled plastics are multiplying. In the not-too-distant future, the plastic water bottle you recycle one day may show up in your next car. One of Hyundai's latest concept cars is a crossover coup vehicle called the QarmaQ. A key feature in the QarmaQ is its innovative use of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles to create a large portion of the vehicle's skin. The use of plastics, instead of more traditional metal and glass, reduces the weight of the vehicle by 60 kg. That weight loss translates to annual fuel savings.

Car seat upholstery also can be made from recycled plastic. And a lot more of the plastics used in today's cars are being recovered and recycled at the end of the vehicle's useful life. Many Canadian manufacturers are adding new recycled products.

Ice River Springs, a bottled water company headquartered in Feversham, Ontario, is the first bottled water company in North America to self-manufacture its own resin and produce plastic water bottles made of 100% recycled plastic. Canadian Tire has the Blue Planet Storage Solutions product line made from a minimum of 75% recycled content and Gracious Living Corporation manufactures the iconic recycling blue boxes, made from 70% post-consumer material collected from Ontario's blue box collection. Interplast Packaging Inc. manufactures egg-cartons with recycled material.

Less obvious uses of recycled plastics include the materials that make our homes comfortable and attractive. Mohawk, a leading carpet manufacturer, recycles nearly three billion plastic bottles each year. Plastic bottles are sorted, ground into fine chips, and then cleaned. These chips are then melted and extruded into fiber and spun into carpet yarn.

If recycled plastic is not on your floor, it may be in your back yard. Composite lumber made from recycled plastic and sawdust is extremely durable and requires very little maintenance. For these reasons and its design capabilities, composite lumber is often a favorite for building decks and fences.

More surprising still, you may be wearing recycled plastic. From high fashion runways to bargain basement stores, "Plastic is the new Black". Warm fleece jackets, trendy shoes and everyday t-shirts are now being made from fibers spun from recycled plastics. Modrobes clothing, which is made in Canada, is manufactured from recycled plastic pop bottles. Each jacket requires 18 bottles (591 ml); each pair of shorts uses about 16 bottles. The 360 degree stretch fabric is water-resistant, moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial. H&M is featuring recycled plastics as part of its line of environmentally friendly fashions. Sears is offering men's suits made from recycled plastic bottles and faux fur, sequins and sky-high heels made possible by plastics are gracing the runways at fashion events across North America.

Today's intelligent plastics are vital to the modern world. These materials enhance our lifestyles, our economy and the environment. For more information visit

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association is the national voice of Canada's plastics industry, representing the interests of processors, material suppliers, equipment manufacturers and brand owners across the country.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Plastics Industry Association
    Darlene Gray
    Marketing Communications Specialist
    905.678.7748 ext. 239