Recreation Industry (Outdoor Playgrounds etc.)

Back in the day, recreational equipment like slides and playgrounds were made from wood and metal. These materials tend to fall apart faster and are harsh against the skin. Nowadays, the recreation industry has adopted plastic. They are much safer and more durable than wood and metal options. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the use of plastic in the recreational industry, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn why plastic is ideal for recreation, where it is used, and the ideal plastic selections for outside. There is value in utilizing plastic for the recreation industry. 

Why Choose Plastic For Recreation? 

Plastic is a valuable material, and it is present everywhere in the world. What makes it ideal for use in recreation? There are several reasons it’s one of the best for outdoor use, beating out the traditional wood and metal. 

Here are a few reasons you should consider plastic for recreation purposes: 

  • It’s lightweight, permitting simple construction and transportation 
  • It will not warp, rust, or splinters like wood and metal 
  • It comes in many bright colors to add to a playground 
  • It will withstand harsh weather conditions 
  • It is much smoother and safer than wood and metal 

There are many benefits to the addition of plastic in recreational areas. 

We’ve talked about why plastic is chosen for recreation. Many different locations, structures, and outdoor designs will work in the future. Let’s talk about where plastic is useful.  

Plastics Play Ground

Where Is Plastic Used In Recreation? 

Plastic can be found in almost every aspect of recreational areas outdoors. However, there are several areas where you will not plastic more often than others. These are typically spots exposed to harsh conditions and touched by children. 

Here are a few of the most prominent places plastic comes in handy in recreation: 

  • Slides 
  • Paneling, whether as a protective panel or as a rock wall 
  • Playhouses 
  • Playsets 

People can enjoy these plastic items for a long time before there is a necessity for replacement.  

Now that we’ve talked about where plastic is used in recreation, what are the best forms of plastic to use? We have three selections that rise above the rest in terms of their quality for recreational systems.  

Ideal Plastics For Use Outside 

We’ve talked about why plastic is useful outside and the best items in the recreation industry made of plastic. However, there are many different types of plastic. Which are used to create the previously mentioned items? 

Here are the best plastics for use outside: 

These will serve these products well when faced with outdoor elements. 

Let’s dive deeper into each of these materials to determine the versatility of each product in the recreation industry. Plastic plays a vital role in the construction and installation of playground equipment and other items that will last. 

Acrylic AquariumAcrylic 

Acrylic is one of the most prominent items utilized in the recreation industry. It is most well-known for its strength and clarity, permitting it to survive in many different weather conditions. Many people use it as a glass replacement, as the product is 17 times stronger and has half the weight. Zoos and museums use acrylic as a defensive layer. 

One of the best things about acrylic sheets is that they keep their clarity throughout their life. They are less likely to sustain scratches and turn yellow with longer exposure to the sun. You can also invest in various colors for signs and structures without worry that they will fade as they age. 

Acrylic is strong and will remain bright and vibrant throughout its lifetime. It’s the most prominent material put to work, whether it’s molded into a slide or crafted into various signs at a mini golf course. Acrylic is a clear winner in the recreation industry. 



Next up is HDPE. High-density polyethylene is a classic and versatile product, also a common choice for use in playgrounds. It is sturdy and will withstand mold, mildew, and other weather conditions. It will not fall apart or start to smell after an intense rainstorm. HDPE is often used in park benches, playground equipment, and tables and chairs. 

HDPE also works well in camping and sports equipment. This use is due to HDPE’s moldability. It is also simple to add colors to the product, ensuring you get the bright, classic hues of a playground. There is nothing better than vibrant colors in a playground.  

It’s simple to push HDPE into a desired shape, making it a hot commodity for the recreation industry. If you want an easy-to-shape product for a recreational activity, go with HDPE for your outdoor needs. It will withstand anything you need it to for a longer new appearance.  

Plastic KayaksKing Colorboard 

Last up is King Colorboard. This product is another version of HDPE, but it is a colorful environmentally stabilized high-density polyethylene sheet. King ColorBoard® has a matte finish on both sides of sheet. It is environmentally stabilized to withstand the harshest outdoor conditions. King ColorBoard® will not rust, delaminate or rot when exposed to UV, humidity or water. Its bright, primary colors make it ideal for sign, industrial, marine, playground and recreational applications. The polymer sheet never needs painting or refinishing, works like wood and it is easy to fabricate using common woodworking tools and techniques. 

Final Thoughts 

Plastics in the recreation industry are relatively new, but they are much better than the previous wood and metal designs. Plastics like acrylic, HDPE, and King Colorboard work well with the outdoors and will keep individuals safe. They are much more durable than other materials and look good. 

If you’re interested in investing in plastic for your part in the recreation industry, contact us. Laird Plastics is one of the leaders in the plastic distribution industry, providing durable and sustainable materials to those in need. We are here to help you gather the materials you need for recreational equipment. 

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