Is HDPE Furniture Environmentally Friendly?
What is HDPE?
HDPE or High-Density Polyethylene is a form of thermoplastic polymer that manufacturers make from petroleum. It is a versatile plastic that manufacturers use for a wide range of applications due to its strengths.
This plastic is better known for its tensile strength and chemical resistance. Many manufacturers use it to create high-quality and durable packaging for chemicals and detergents since it does not react with the elements.
What most people don’t know is that manufacturers and end consumers also love this plastic because it is eco-friendly. It sounds crazy, but the manufacture and use of HDPE are environmentally friendly.
The information below will outline some of the ways that this material, despite being plastic, is not harmful to the environment.
What is HDPE Used For?
HDPE has a wide range of applications, including:
You will find a lot of HDPE containers because of their resistance to chemicals. Manufacturers use HDPE to create bottles and containers for soaps, detergents, and chemicals. Therefore, check your shampoo and liquid soap bottles for the HDPE mark.
Manufacturers also use them to make bottles for solvents and other chemicals because they do not corrode the plastic. HDPE surprisingly makes an appearance in food containers too.
Milk jugs and reusable take-out food containers come from HDPE. This material is surprisingly resistant to bacterial contamination, making it ideal for food packaging.
Have you ever seen poly furniture? You probably have as these items appear in people’s homes, cafes, and other delightful outdoor settings. Good poly furniture comes from HDPE.
HDPE is a tough and resistant material that makes it ideal for making this type of furniture. HDPE furniture is first resistant to the weather.
Therefore, it does not warp, break, crack, rust, or fade under weather conditions. These qualities are what most people look for in outdoor furniture so that it lasts.
HDPE furniture is also easy to maintain. This plastic material does not need a lot of care and maintenance. Simple washing every other while will adequately preserve the luster and strength of the furniture.
What’s more, end consumers love this option because on many occasions. HDPE furniture comes from recycled HDPE. But we will cover that later on in the article.
Plastic surgeons have sold and used HDPE solid implants in facial augmentation for years. These implants are for reconstructive and cosmetic purposes. HDPE is porous and therefore allows soft tissue and vascular ingrowth. It will help to keep the HDPE implant in place.
Surgeons use HDPE solid implants for cheek, chin, and jawline reconstruction. They can shape the material to fit in the space. Some surgeons also use HDPE solid implants to repair the face after an accident or correct congenital defects.
The non-toxicity of HDPE makes it ideal for everyone, and the body tissues rarely reject the implant.
HDPE is also ideal for 3D printing filament since it is compatible with FDM technology. Most people use ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) as the filament for 3D printing. However, HDPE is a suitable alternative since it is stronger than ABS, light, and can be used as printing support.
Users can also pair HDPE with ABS and other polymers. This material also dissolves in limonene, which is advantageous since the object needs support that easily melts away. Since HDPE is also water-proof, it is ideal for creating water-tight objects.
Similarly, your object will be highly resistant to chemical corrosion since HDPE is resistant to corrosion. And finally, HDPE is FDA-approved making it food-safe in its original manufacturing. So you can use it for food-related objects.
The toughness and durability of HDPE make it ideal for the construction industry. HDPE is particularly useful in making piping for plumbing during construction. Piping materials need to be corrosion resistant, chemical resistant, flexible, with excellent impact resistance, and long-term pressure capability.
HDPE meets all these qualities, making it popular in piping construction. HDPE piping systems are also used as the ground loops for geo-exchange systems or ground-source geothermal systems.
Manufacturers have gotten creative with HDPE, using it for recreational equipment. The toughness and flexibility of this material make it ideal for holding weight. Therefore, manufacturers use it to make recreational items such as park swing sets.
Most of the swing sets you find in public and private properties are HDPE. Because it comes in multiple colors, it is ideal for such applications. Additionally, it does not retain heat and is resistant to weather conditions making it safe for kids.
Other recreational equipment people use HDPE to make include tree houses, giant chess pieces, and playhouses.
End Consumer Products
And finally, the strength and long-lasting ability of HDPE make it a favorite for primary ends consumer products such as chopping boards, egg trays, cutlery and crockery, plastic baskets, and stands.
Because of its UV resistance, manufacturers also use it to make toys, saving them from a discoloring effect.
How is HDPE Furniture Environmentally Friendly?
Consumers today are more aware of the effects of their choices on the environment. Therefore, they will be more aware of their options, selecting the goods and services that support the environment instead of harming it.
When it comes to outdoor furniture, there are many things that end consumers consider starting with the weather. End consumers want items that can brace various weather conditions without giving in. Therefore, they will look for weather-proof materials.
Additionally, end consumers will search for materials that do not require much maintenance to keep them in good condition. They do not want to spend their afternoons taking care of furniture but instead using them.
End consumers need stylish and durable outdoor furniture. The more color variations there are, the better it is for uniqueness.
And most recently, end consumers want eco-friendly outdoor furniture. The resiliency and advantageous characteristics of HDPE make it an ideal choice for outdoor furniture. And while you understand how it is tough and resistant, you may not know about its eco-friendly properties. Let’s change that.
It is 100% recyclable.
One factor that makes HDPE furniture eco-friendly is that HDPE is recyclable. In addition, it is one of the easiest plastics to recycle. A lot of recycling plants take in HDPE to recycle into usable materials.
Recycling plants have similar processes for recycling HDPE, starting with sorting. Collectors bring uncategorized plastic into the plant, and the machines sort them to ensure the plastics receive the correct type of recycling.
The plastic then undergoes washing to remove impurities such as dirt, adhesive, labels, food, and other debris. This is necessary for HDPE containers as they have many contaminants affecting the end product.
shredding and resizing
Any impurities in the furniture cause structural integrity and unsightliness. After washing, the plastic undergoes shredding and resizing. The shredders break the plastic into smaller forms which in turn help to identify any impurities that have gone unnoticed. Some facilities use metal detectors to remove metallic components.
After this, the shredded plastic is separated to determine thickness and weight. It will also determine color, melting point, and other important factors that facilitate the final step, which is compounding.
Compounding transforms the plastic into small plastic pellets that are easy to work with. People who work with recycled plastic often receive the plastic in this form, as it is easier to mold into valuable products.
Poly furniture manufacturers mold it into poly lumber or plastic wood. It can have the same look and texture as other materials; thus, customization is possible. Most poly wood comes from recycled HDPE.
Top HDPE furniture manufacturers prefer to use recycled HDPE since it is better for the environment. It eliminates the demand to produce more plastic, thus not straining the environment. Additionally, HDPE is endlessly recyclable.
It is made from recycled materials
Most HDPE does not even come from new manufacturers. Instead, manufacturers get their HDPE from recycling plants. As mentioned, recycled plastic comes in pellet form, making it easy to mold into various objects and shapes.
Manufacturers often have the right equipment for different types of plastic processing; they can mold the plastic into various shapes to create an array of products, including lumber, containers, packaging, bags, cutting boards, trays, crates, and more.
By eliminating the need to produce more plastic, HDPE spares the environment from a toxic process. Additionally, it uses plastic that would otherwise end up in landfills. A lot of the plastic items people use to go to landfills, where they spend thousands of years without degrading.
Unfortunately, this has increased the need for more landfills, taking up space that would otherwise be for human habitation and agricultural activities. Endlessly recycling HDPE, reduces the need for new landfill space.
Producing HDPE is energy-friendly
One of the reasons manufacturers love producing plastic is that the process is easy. However, it is not always the best for the environment; thus, recycling is always encouraged. However, it is essential to mention that making new HDPE is energy-friendly.
Studies show that making HDPE only requires a fraction of the energy manufacturers need to produce steel from iron ore. This is a lot of energy-saving if you look at it from a large-scale perspective.
Additionally, manufacturers can transport more HDPE products with less packaging materials. The strength and flexibility of the HDPE allow more packing space, reducing the number of trips needed for shipping. This is great for reducing fuel consumption, making HDPE energy-friendly and sustainable.
Easy to maintain
And finally, HDPE furniture is easy to maintain and thus has little impact on the environment. Some furniture materials require special chemical maintenance, which is harmful to the air as the toxic fumes spread.
Additionally, if the chemicals get into the soil, it tips the soil ph. Others require a lot of washing, cleaning, and care, which can easily lead to using a lot of water and energy.
HDPE furniture requires very little maintenance. It does not call for staining or chemical solvent maintenance, sparing the environment of air and soil pollution. Additionally, it does not require frequent washing.
A few maintenance activities every once in a while will keep the furniture looking new. Thus, you won’t use a lot of energy and water to keep the items in good condition. Maintenance involves soap and water; easy and good for the environment.
Types Of HDPE Furniture
There are many types of HDPE furniture in the market. The possibilities are endless, and end consumers can get customized items on request. HDPE furniture is primarily used outside. Some of the most common HDPE furniture pieces include:
- Adirondack Chairs. These are the classic chairs with a modern spin that can even have added features. They are loved for stability, spaciousness, and lounging. They come in multiple colors with wide armrests for placing food and drinks.
- Stools. Bars with outside seating are turning to HDPE stools for their durability and resistance. Additionally, it is easy to customize to meet company colors and specific designs for comfort.
- Tables. You can get HDPE tables for different types of outdoor settings, including patios, restaurants, office or working spaces, outdoor kitchens, and more. They can be of various heights, shapes, and sizes.
- Couches. People want a little more comfortable outside; thus, HDPE couches are becoming popular. These are paired with pillows and cushions with water-proof material coverings. They can be single or multiple seats.
- Swivel chairs These are becoming more popular for outdoor office use and patios. The swivel chair is like a modern take on rocking chairs. They are fun and an excellent way to stay in the conversation when hosting.
- Day beds. These became popular during quarantine, and they are here to stay. They come with comfortable cushions, and people accessorize them with blankets, ideal for lazy days.
- Egg chairs. And finally, the standing egg chair is becoming a staple in every backyard for reading or lounging.
You can turn to us for high-quality HDPE furniture. We work with retailers, supplying high-quality and environmentally friendly HDPE furniture. Our prices are competitive, plus we are dedicated to partnership.