So you’ve done the hard part… deciding on the type of outdoor furniture you want (Wood? Caste iron? Aluminum? Recycled plastic?) and lumber made from recycled plastic (commonly referred to as HDPE lumber) is the way you want to go.
For some, parting with the familiar metallic or hardwood varieties feels like a big leap or a bit of a gamble. But with our ever-growing desire to make eco-friendly choices, going with recycled plastic material is becoming more and more common.
Not only does recycled plastic lumber ease our conscience and our impact on the planet, it also stands up to other materials in terms of durability and price.
If you’re still on the fence about it, thinking that recycled plastic furniture might look like the very material they’re made out of (ugly discarded plastic garbage), then check out these manufacturers who produce high-quality recycled plastic furniture in an assortment of styles that look terrific in outdoor spaces and are more durable than one would expect. If you just want to see our top 10 picks we have you covered too.
Read our 10 Best Outdoor Recycled Plastic Furniture Picks for this year here!
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7 Best Recycled Plastic Outdoor Furniture Manufacturers
Established in 1990, POLYWOOD was the first company to use recycled plastic for outdoor furniture. Today, POLYWOOD prevents 400,000 milk jugs (per day!) from going to landfills or the ocean. They source recyclable plastics from global partners and process the materials in their on-site plastic recycling center. This is how committed they are to sustainable manufacturing practices.
The furniture that comes from their eco-friendly efforts are just as impressive, producing a large variety of high-quality outdoor products. A 20-year warranty illustrates their confidence in their customers’ satisfaction.
Peruse their furniture selection: Adirondack chairs, dining sets, rocking chairs, chaise lounge chairs, benches, swings, tables, and more. Styles range from rustic to elegant. Furnish a poolside, porch, or small garden nook with a piece or set from their catalogue.
There’s a reason POLYWOOD is a name you’ll see often in your search for HDPE outdoor furniture. This company is a top contender in the industry. They might be a bit pricey, but they’re the most knowledge, reliable, and reputable.
This Pennsylvania-based company is a powerhouse in the outdoor furniture industry. With Highwood as their most established brand, they also own three additional labels that provide HDPE products for your outdoor living space: Elk Outdoors, Sequoia Professional, and Everwood DIY.
What sets Highwood apart from other brands is that their HDPE lumber mimics real wood better than most (if not all) of their competitors. It’s even in their logo: “Nature’s closest rival!” So if you’re having trouble parting with the classic, natural look of wood, then this might be a winner for you.
They also sell unique accessories, including uncut HDPE lumber for DIY homeowners, mailbox posts made of HDPE lumber, and a lamppost made of marine-grade recycled plastic.
The HDPE lumber that DUROGreen uses is certified by the Fair Trade Commission as well as Green Circle Certified to ensure it meets all “Green Guidelines” and contains no less than 95% recycled material. So, if you’re looking for an eco-friendly brand, this one outshines many of its competitors.
Not only are their products impressively sustainable, they’re also notably durable. The designers at DUROGreen are highly experienced at crafting furniture that can withstand all four seasons and some of the harshest outdoor elements. Even the hardware they use is marine-grade stainless steel! On top of that, each design is meticulously fashioned to be comfortable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.
Every aspect of DUROGreen is 100% “homegrown”. Everything (lumber, hardware, logo tags, assembly, and packaging) is done in the USA.
While their selection is limited to tables and chairs, they do have a decent variety of products: Adirondacks, rocking chairs, lounge chairs, dining sets and tables. You can choose your favorite color, and their list of special collections are available for those who are looking for something more stylish.
4. Trex Outdoor Furniture
The furniture at Trex is constructed by POLYWOOD using their trademark HDPE lumber. However, with Trex, you can find an even wider variety of products and styles in their selection. Also, Trex offers slightly lower prices than POLYWOOD.
One of their extra services includes a handy Deck Furniture Planner. Your professional planner will consider your budget, preferred style, and the dimensions of your outdoor living space and then guide you through their catalog to find the choices best for you.
In partnership with Trees for the Future, Trex plants a tree for every piece of furniture they sell. If buy a chair, they’ll plant a tree. If you buy a seven-piece set, they’ll plant seven trees. If that’s not a strong selling point, then I don’t know what is.
Founded in 1999, Breezesta is another industry leader that has proven their commitment to quality and sustainability. Their Lifetime Residential Warranty on all of their premium products is a testament to their craftsmanship.
Innovation has been one of their keys to success. For instance, they use a Sur-Lok joint construction that increases the sturdiness of their furniture.
Also, the HDPE lumber they use has several unique qualities. It’s heavier (more wind resistant) than competitors’ lumber, and the surface of the lumber is textured to mimic wood and conceal minor scratches. Most especially, their attention to color is unmatched. Dense color pigmentation saturates the lumber, so any scratches that occur won’t reveal any discoloration beneath the surface. Also, their Sun Guard Technology uses ultraviolet inhibitors to prevent the color from fading. And for a final, special touch, they use color-matched hardware that blends in with the lumber.
Aside from all of their impressive product innovations, Breezesta provides a competitive variety of products and styles. Chairs, tables, swings, rockers, bar sets, benches, special collections. Cushions and fabrics, too. They even help you out by categorizing their products by the type of outdoor space you need furnished.
6. Seaside Casual
Originating as a small, traditional manufacturer back in 1996, Seaside Casual shifted gears and began using Envirowood, an HDPE lumber that also uses UV protection pigments for outdoor durability. Located in the New England area, Seaside Casual first sought to provide their local community with furniture that can withstand the salty seaside air. Now, with over 50 product designs, their furniture can be found all across the country.
Their products mostly maintain a coastal aesthetic: traditional, elegant, and comfy. They have an impressive special-collection catalogue of outdoor chairs, benches, and tables. To keep with their specialized style, they provide high-quality cushions and pillows. Also, if you’re interested in extending your garden space, you might want to treat yourself to one of their HDPE planters that’ll compliment your new furniture.
If you want to test out one of their products, check your local retailers, as Seaside Casual supplies retailers nationwide so shoppers can experience first-hand the ergonomic comfort of their furniture. This family-owned business is as reliable as they come!
7. Berlin Gardens
This company is noted for its wide variety of unique furniture styles. If you go with Berlin Gardens, you’re bound to settle on something that won’t be matched by any of your neighbors. Using only the highest grade of HDPE lumber, their furniture will outlast many other competing brands.
You’ll also have the option of perusing their extended selection of patio bars, buffet tables, picnic tables, cushions, and umbrellas. And if you’re looking for something bigger for your outdoor space, you can check out their backyard structures, including pergolas, pavilions, and gazebos—and for these you can have a hand in customizing the design.
The team at Berlin Gardens strives to satisfy every customer, ensuring timely delivery of their products. They’re courteous, respectful, and efficient. And for care and maintenance, their Berlin Gardens brand cleaning products are worth every penny.
Recycled Plastic Furniture FAQs
What exactly is HDPE Lumber?
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic is one of the most commonly used forms of plastic. Milk jugs, shampoo containers, detergent bottles are all examples of HDPE plastic. HDPE lumber is a construction material that is made from recycled HDPE plastic products. Because this specific type of plastic is highly abundant, easily recyclable and extremely durable (resisting the toughest weather conditions without ever rotting, rusting, or getting eaten by bugs), it’s the perfect plastic for making lumber.
HDPE lumber has countless uses, including decks, docks, retaining walls, and fences. When it comes to outdoor furniture, it’s a no-brainer!
Does recycled plastic outdoor furniture last long?
If you buy outdoor furniture made with high-quality HDPE lumber, chances are you’ll be making a better investment than if you go with metal or wood. The process of making HDPE allows for interesting innovations that improve overall longevity, whether it’s weather resistance (including the various issues that come with water exposure) or resistance to pests.
Many of the manufacturers listed above claim that HDPE products outlast traditional materials. This is largely attributed to the fact that HDPE is extremely easy to care for and maintain. Unlike wood that needs staining, or metal that needs repainting or rust repair, HDPE simply needs a good washing. There are special products that can be applied to HDPE to preserve the quality, but in the long run, recycled plastic materials don’t succumb to the elements as easily as the old stuff.
Read more about which outdoor furniture lasts the longest here.
With recent advances in the manufacturing of recycled plastic materials, we can now furnish our beloved outdoor spaces with recycled plastic products without feeling like we’re sacrificing aesthetics or durability.
Recycled plastic furniture can run with the big dogs and finish strong, all without hurting your pocketbook.
Another special aspect of HDPE lumber (especially for eco-minded shoppers), is that if, for whatever reason, you need to dispose of a specific piece of furniture, it can be returned to the manufacturer to be recycled over and over again.
If you were still on the fence about recycled plastic at the start of this article, then hopefully the impressive quality and variety of furniture showcased by the brands listed above has helped you make the leap!
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.