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You might be wondering, what exactly is recycled plastic patio furniture? What’s it made out of, and why should you choose that material over others? The material that makes up recycled plastic patio furniture can also be called poly lumber or poly wood. It’s made from,
- High density polyethylene (HDPE)
- UV-inhibited pigment systems
- Foaming compounds
- Selected additives
The main material that makes up HDPE is raw plastic material that was used by consumers at one point. A couple examples are detergent bottles, milk jugs, shampoo containers, etc. They’re cleaned very carefully and then can be molded into patio furniture! If you want to learn more about how the process works and what kind of plastics are recycled, check out this short article that goes even further into the high density polyethylene process! HDPE materials end up being about 90% recycled plastic. Sustainability is a hot topic right now and even little things can make a difference. Purchasing patio furniture made from recycled plastic is a great way to help the environment and engage in a quick and easy sustainability practice.
As I mentioned briefly, purchasing recycled plastic patio furniture is great for the environment! Since this patio furniture is made from recycled plastic, that means less waste ending up in landfills, which is always a good thing. Not only that, but if you’re not purchasing any wood patio furniture, you’re saving some trees and also reducing your carbon footprint. If you are interested in a quick calculation of your carbon footprint, check out this free carbon footprint calculator.
Another great benefit of recycled plastic patio furniture is that it is basically maintenance free. You won’t have to worry about refinishing it like teak furniture, no rust, and no repainting. Most, if not all recycled plastic is UV treated so you don’t have to worry about colors fading in the sun. Figure out the perfect patio set up and you’re good to go.
Recycled plastic furniture is often cheaper than any other types of patio furniture. Since they’re molded plastic, there’s less work that goes into them. They don’t have any wood, aluminum, or cast iron so they’re also much lighter. This makes a big difference if you’re ordering online and planning on having them shipped to you. If they somehow get ruined or you want to replace them with different colors it won’t break the bank to upgrade.
The price difference is abundantly clear when you start comparing recycled plastic to other patio furniture materials. It’s normal to worry that plastic furniture might look cheaper than other types of patio furniture. Of course, it won’t look like high end wrought iron. However, the molds and colors available look so similar to natural wood that sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference! Here’s a quick price comparison to give you an idea of the general costs. Check out some more recycled plastic patio furniture options.
In the comparison between these two 5 piece dining sets, you can see that the recycled plastic option is much cheaper. It’s not quite as luxury, but you don’t have to completely sacrifice style when shopping for recycled plastic patio furniture.
- Lightweight – easy to move around and store
- Wide range of colors
- Waterproof (no metal, won’t rust)
- Pretty tough to break plastic
Polywood/recycled plastic patio furniture will last a lifetime, or until you decide you want something new. You never have to worry about rotting wood, cracking wood, rust, or almost any other issue that is commonly found in patio furniture. The material is UV protected so you don’t need to worry about colors fading. If you leave your polywood furniture out in the sun for 15+ years you’ll most likely start to see some fading, but you won’t have to worry about that for a while! Polywood is a great option if you have a big family, kids, pets, you name it. The plastic is sturdy and durable so it can take all kinds of abuse. If you’re looking for affordable patio furniture for a commercial space, polywood is a fantastic option. The durable nature of this material means that it can withstand the traffic that is unique to commercial spaces.
One of the downsides that is frequently brought up with plastic patio furniture is the lightweight nature of the material. This is a legitimate concern, especially in places that are prone to high winds. If you’re buying polywood patio furniture, it is actually much heavier than your run of the mill, box store plastic patio furniture. According to the Polywood brand website, the chairs weigh anywhere between 30-50 lbs. If you’ve seen a 50 lb weight casually blowing around, let me know!
As we’ve discussed, recycled plastic patio furniture is one of the most, if not the most durable patio furniture material available. It can handle pretty much anything that mother nature can throw at it. The UV protection allows it to withstand hot and sunny climates without a problem. Since it’s just recycled plastic, snow and rain won’t affect the structure or material. The worst you’ll have to deal with is wiping off any excess water or snow. Finally, unless you’re planning on lounging outside during 40-50 mph winds, you should be totally fine. Salt spray from furniture that stays close to the beach can be an issue for some patio furniture, but not recycled plastic! Once again, it beats any and all of the elements.
The best recycled plastic furniture brand is far and away Polywood. They have the biggest selection and a huge range of prices. Harmonia Living is another brand that offers recycled plastic patio furniture but the selection is very minimal. If you’re planning on purchasing this kind of patio furniture, Polywood is your best option.
Polywood Dining Set Options
Cleaning and taking care of polywood is a pretty easy task that doesn’t have to be done very often. All you’ll really need is soap and warm water. A soft bristled brush is recommended to effectively get into any cracks and creases. For general cleaning, a sponge or washcloth should work just fine. If you’re dealing with any tough stains, a mixture of ⅓ bleach and ⅔ warm water should do the trick without having any negative effects on the color. If you really want to get after it, a pressure washer that’s at or below 1,500 psi will work as well. All the hardware that the polywood brand uses is stainless steel. According to their website, the hardware has a high level of corrosion resistance. If you live in an area that leads to your patio furniture coming in contact with salt spray (near the ocean) the hardware can easily be cleaned with soap and warm water.
As for cushions, the gold standard for patio furniture cushions is Sunbrella Fabrics. They are the most resistant to fading from UV rays and are considered to be the industry standard for quality patio cushions.
When it comes to the Polywood brand of recycled plastic patio furniture, their warranty is unbeatable. It is really a testament to their long lifespan and durability. According to the Polywood site, they have a 20 year limited warranty for residential use on all of their patio furniture. For commercial use it’s 1 year, but that’s to be expected with the high traffic of commercial settings. For the aluminum frames, hardware, and sling material, the residential warranty is 5 years, commercial is 1 year.
Overall, you’re getting some serious bang for your buck when purchasing recycled plastic furniture. With proper care, your patio furniture will last you a couple decades.
- Made from 90% recycled plastic
- Great for the environment
- Low maintenance
- Long lifespan
- Great warranty
- Perfect for any climate
- Looks awesome