These beach and pool accessories are built to last.

Sun + Water tubes
Diana Koenigberg/Courtesy of Sun + Water
Sun + Water tubes

We love a hot pink flamingo floatie bobbing in the chlorine waters of a Palm Springs pool as much as the next person. But it doesn’t look so cute and hilarious when it’s sitting in a pile of trash alongside deflated pizza tubes and unicorns.

Plastic rafts, degrading noodles, broken umbrellas, even inflatable tubs—they can all start making their way toward the garbage bin, and ultimately a landfill, by the end of the summer. Many are not recyclable due to a material called polyvinyl chloride, otherwise known as PVC, a plastic that you’ve likely seen in pipes at Home Depot but can also be found in many of these flexible pool accessories.

Willow + Sim Bamboo Kids Beach Toys
Willow + Sim Bamboo Kids Beach Toys are made from bamboo fiber and cornstarch.

Courtesy of Willow + Sim

One Australian couple was so fed up with the plastic piling up that they started a company called Ploys – Creative Concepts in Disguise, specifically designed to recycle inflatable pool toys and transform them into bags and purses. “We just couldn’t throw away all this plastic, knowing that PVC is one of the worst products to decompose; taking up to … 1,000 years to disintegrate,” they write on their website.

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To get your summer started off on a more eco-friendly foot, we put together a list of ideas for more sustainable beach and pool accessories, from recycled timber umbrellas to shovels made out of bamboo fiber and cornstarch. Some companies will even recycle their products for you when you’re ready to throw them away.

Here, some of our favorite products that lend themselves to more sustainable summer fun.

Sustainable Summer Accessories


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