Eco-friendly products are hot right now; and they’ll continue to be for the foreseeable future. With every passing day, more businesses and consumers are choosing sustainable options. These products can take many different forms, including being made of recycled paper, biodegradable materials, and even recycled plastics. However, because recycled plastics are still plastics, many people view them as “worse” than biodegradable options. This simply isn’t true. While biodegradable options don’t add any more damaging waste to the environment, recycled plastic options actually remove damaging waste from the environment and last longer.

In this article we’ll be illustrating how recycled plastic can be used in the four most popular promotional product categories: Pens, apparel, bags, and drinkware.

Mixed Recycled Material Pens

Mixed Recycled Material Pens

Pens can be manufactured using basically any recycled material, including papers, plastics, woods, and even scrap metals. And when you take the number of pens produced each year into consideration, these recycled options are vitally important for sustainability. In the past, eco-friendly pens were more of a gimmick than a real solution. They would fall apart in a matter of days or weeks and often chose sustainability over the needs of the end user. This is no longer the case.

Today, you don’t need to choose between sustainability and usability, you can have both thanks to mixed recycled material pens. Mixed recycled material products are just like mixed material products, but use recycled versions of those products. For example, you can have a pen with different parts made from different recycled materials. A single pen can benefit from the sturdiness of plastic, the biodegradability of paper and wood, and the style and longevity of metal.

Recycled PET Apparel

Recycled PET Plastic Hat

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET/PETE) is a recyclable plastic with the number 1 as its identification code. This highly versatile material can be recycled into a wide variety of products, including everything featured in this article. But what many people don’t know is that it can even be used to manufacture apparel items. When you think of plastic apparel items, you may think of small parts of apparel, such as zippers or buttons. But the reality is that nearly the entirety of most apparel items can be made from recycled plastics.

Jackets, hats, and shoes are some of the apparel items most commonly made out of recycled plastic. Just check out this hat made from 100% recycled PET plastic. It looks just like any other hat, which is important for many consumers. Some people like for their environmentally friendly products to look the part, but others simply want the same style they’re used to made in an environmentally friendly way.

Recycled Laminate Bags

Recycled Laminate Bag

Continuing on with the theme of recycled PET’s versatility, one of the most popular uses for it is the manufacturing of reusable, laminate bags. As more and more countries, states, and cities ban single use plastic (and even paper) bags, reusable bags will continue to increase in popularity. And if there’s one thing better for the environment than a reusable bag, it’s a reusable bag made out of recycled material.

Laminate bags made of recycled PET plastic are lightweight, foldable, easy to clean, and affordable. It’s for these reasons that they’ve become go-to promotional products for business all around the country. The most notable of these businesses is probably Trader Joe’s which introduced their reusable bags made of recycled materials back in the 1970s — a testament to how sustainable ideas don’t go out of style.

Drinkware made from Recycled Plastics

Recycled Plastic Drinkware

Drinkware is probably the most obvious promotional item to be made from recycled plastics. Recycled plastics can be used to make any kind of drinkware normal plastics can; really, it’s the same thing, but better for the environment. Also, drinkware isn’t limited to only using PET plastics. Polypropylene (PP, designated by the number 5) plastics are another common type used for drinkware manufacturing. And, multiple types of recycled plastic can be used for different parts of the same drinkware item.

Recycled paper drinkware exists, but it’s not exactly reusable. For this reason, metal, glass, and plastic are the go-to materials for reusable drinkware. And of these three options, recycled plastic is the best option. Recycled glass and metal can get expensive, while plastic is relatively cheap by comparison. It also holds up just as well when taken care of.


Recycled plastics are some of the best materials to use in the manufacturing of reusable products because they not only limit additional waste output, but also reduce existing waste in the process. These materials can be used to make just about every reusable promotional product under the sun, including the four most popular categories of pens, apparel, bags, and drinkware. By using products created with sustainability in mind, you will be showing your clients and customers that your business is one which is looking forward to the future and ready for the challenges it brings with it.

Recycled Plastic Products from Safeguard Premier

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, contact your local Safeguard Premier Branding Solutions representative. We work with manufacturers all around the world who use recycled plastics and other recycled materials in their products. For more information regarding our catalog of products, contact us today.