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Give Your Plastic Shopping Bags A Second Life As Recycled Picnic Tables

April 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 204

Ever wonder what happens to your plastic shopping bags once you throw them out in the garbage? Most people probably don't give it a second thought, but many would argue that you should. The unfortunate truth is that worldwide, roughly 4 billion plastic bags are thrown into landfills each year, where it will take them up to 1,000 years to decompose.

But there is one very simple thing you can do that will make a huge difference. Recycle those bags! Recycled plastic can be made into a variety of useful items that you may never have fathomed before, such as polar fleece, tennis ball fuzz and picnic tables! So instead of condemning your shopping bags to a thousand years in a landfill, why not give them a new life as a picnic table?

What Are Recycled Plastic Picnic Tables Made From?

If you've ever had the chance to take a look at recycled picnic tables up close and personal, you likely found them to be not too different from any ordinary table. But ordinary they certainly are not! Recycled plastic picnic tables are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). If you look at the bottom of a milk container or shopping bag, you'll notice a small recycling symbol that includes a number.

Items displaying the number 2 are comprised of HDPE plastic and can be recycled into useful items like picnic tables, floor tiles and park benches. A wide range of household items contain HDPE plastics, including shopping bags, beverage containers, cleaning product containers, wire and cable coverings, and wood composites.

Why Are HDPE Plastics Harmful To The Environment?

In addition to taking an extremely long time to decompose, HDPE plastics harm the environment in many other ways as well. It all starts when they are manufactured, during which dangerous pollutants are released into the air and water supply.

Once the items are used and disposed of, they take up a considerable amount of landfill space. And because HDPE products are often lightweight, they tend to blow away from the landfills quite easily, ending up in oceans, forests, and lakes, where they can harm wild animals.

What You Can Do To Help!

The good news is the negative effects of HDPE plastics could be significantly reduced if consumers were to take two simple actions. The first of which is to recycle! This is as simple as buying a few recycling bins and making a weekly or monthly trip to your local recycling center. Many garbage disposal companies now offer curbside recycling programs as well, making it even easier for busy families to contribute.

The second way you can make a positive impact is to buy more recycled products. The process of manufacturing items from recycled plastic requires less energy, water and resources; which results in less pollution - a winning combination!

You may be surprised by the variety of recycled plastic products you can find. From picnic tables and park benches to gardening tools and pipes, there are endless opportunities for you to be more eco-friendly with your purchases. So when your family is gathered outdoors, sitting around your picnic tables, you can feel confident in knowing that you've done your part to protect the environment!

Author writes about a variety of topics. If you would like to learn more about picnic tables, visit

Source: EzineArticles
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