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May 21, 2020 3 min read

When it comes to outdoor patio rugs, it's been quite a struggle.  It's hard to find a supplier that's completely aligned with our sustainability initiatives.  You'll notice that many of our outdoor rug suggestions are composed of machine washable cotton rugs that can be used for both indoor and outdoor spaces.  In all honesty, we'd rather offer you a cotton rug to bring out onto your patio than to offer you a synthetic rug that's been heavily coated with UV resistant chemicals. Most studies show that a typical patio rug has a lifespan of only two years because of their continued exposure to outdoor elements.  Once the UV coating wears off, the colours begin to fade and the rug ends up in landfill.  

A few weeks ago, we were introduced to Fab Habitat through our GoodWeave partnership and it was an immediate 'yes' for us.  Fab Habitat rugs are made from recycled plastics and upcycled biodegradable materials.  The owners, Suchin and Kanan Gupta, started the company back in 2009 and since then have recycled millions of plastics bottles and containers turning them from trash to rug.  

Fab Habitat outdoor patio rug made from recycled plasticsPhoto: Fab Habitat Miramar Gray Area Rug

While most of us do a great job at home ensuring that our plastic containers and coffee cups are sorted and placed in the appropriate bins for recycling purposes, have you ever wondered where the recycled plastics go and what their afterlife looks like? 

compressed plastic bottles ready for recycling

The path from waste to recycled matter is a very long and complicated process.  Governments invest heavily in sophisticated recycling systems to sort, extract, melt and clean plastic waste such that they can be reused and reapplied.  The biggest challenge with plastic recycling is sorting and extracting the plastic in its purest form as not all  plastics are treated equal.  Furthermore, not all industries are able to utilize recycled plastic in the making of their products due to cost limitations or purity requirements.

Thankfully, more and more companies are finding a use for recycled plastics in the textiles industry kudos to organizations like OceanWorks for filling in the gaps.  Fab Habitat sources medical grade recycled plastics to ensure their rugs are made of the highest level of quality and durability.  Every 5' x 8' Fab Habitat plastic rug is made from 279 recycled medical grade containers.  Every 5' x 8' Fab Habitat polyester rug is made from 333 recycled soda bottles.  Fab Habitat completes the cycle in the plastic recycling process fully utilizing our trash and turning them into something we can enjoy once again with our family.

If you are wondering how good a rug made from recycled plastic is, here's are a few neat facts that I gathered:

  • The rugs are made from recycled plastic bottles that have been shredded, melted, spun into yarn and then handwoven by artisans into a rug.  Despite them being made from plastic, the yarn has a cotton-like feel, which makes it comfortable enough to be used indoors as well
  • Because they are made from plastic, they are naturally stain resistant, UV resistant and mildew resistant, and completely safe around kids and pets
  • The rugs can be easily washed in a washing machine or brought outside to be hosed down, making clean up nice and easy
  • Their plastic rugs are so lightweight they even come with a jute bag so you can take them with you on trips to the beach, picnic or camping!

Personally, I am of the mindset that we should avoid plastic on all fronts.  I would always advocate for and choose an item made from biodegradable material over plastic.  However, for items where using plastic does make sense for longevity or functional purposes, then using recycled plastic is, in my opinion, the next best option.

Hopefully, this post sheds some light when you are shopping for an outdoor patio rug.  And as always, if you have any questions, we're always available through chat, email or phone to offer help.

Shop Fab Habitat now

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