The Environmental Impact of Polyethylene and Polypropylene


There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about plastics and their impact on the environment. According to a report by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), “In 2019 alone, the production and incineration of plastic will add more than 850 million metric tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere–equal to the pollution from 189 new 500-megawatt coal-fired power plants.”

Across the country, initiatives have been put in place to help consumers reduce the amount of single-use plastic they use, from restaurants getting rid of straws to stores like Target offering incentives to customers who bring their own reusable bags.

With the increased awareness about how we use plastic, we thought you might be interested to know more about the environmental impact of plastics like polyethylene and polypropylene.


High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a plastic material with a low melting point and high durability. Our customers most often see it used in fabrics like knitted shade. Because it’s a strong material, fabrics we sell that are made from HDPE can often last 10-15 years before needing to be replaced.

Once the time comes to recycle it, HDPE can be made into products like outdoor furniture, playground equipment, and plastic lumber for decks.


Polypropylene is a versatile plastic material that is used in fabrics like truck covers. Much like HDPE, our customers typically find that products made with polypropylene can last up to 15 years before replacement is needed.

When polypropylene is recycled, it can be made into products like kitchen utensils, watering cans, and storage bins.

The best way to reduce the strain of plastics on the environment is by doing our part to reduce single-use plastic and staying committed to recycling products made from materials like polyethylene and polypropylene so that they can be used in the construction of new materials.