Eco-friendly furniture diverts thousands of plastic milk jugs from landfills
This fall, Rutgers-New Brunswick students enjoying downtime outdoors on campus will be gathering in a more sustainable way.
While they look like wood, those new red-and-grey Adirondack chairs and patio tables were once plastic milk jugs: 124,846 of them, to be exact.
Manufactured with 95% post-consumer recycled plastic by Wisconsin-based Sister Bay Furniture Co., the maintenance-free plastic lumber furniture was purchased by Student Affairs, said Neela Patel, Interim Executive Director of Student Centers and Activities.
“This furniture is bright and fun. It’s what college students are looking for, and it’s sustainable. It’s a win-win,” said Patel, who spotted the eco-friendly furniture line in 2019 at a conference and suggested it to Student Affairs.
The 356 pieces of furniture ranging from Adirondack chairs, to standard to bar height tables and chairs allowing the community with a variety of seating options replace the weathered black mesh furniture that was a fixture outside Rutgers-New Brunswick’s student centers for the last 12 to 20 years. The upcycled furniture arrived in August and was placed in common areas outside Rutgers-New Brunswick’s six student centers and the College Avenue Underpass to encourage congregating and community building, said Patel.