10 Green Countertops

Plastic can be eco-friendly, if you choose a countertop with a high percentage of recycled material. iStock/Thinkstock

You don't typically think of plastics when you're thinking about environmentally friendly products. In fact, traditional plastic countertops are not very green -- they're usually made from a lot of nonrenewable resources. Additionally, making plastic uses a lot of chemicals and the entire process is energy intensive. So, why are we even considering plastic countertops on our list? Because you can alter how green the countertops are by what materials you choose.

Plastic can be recycled, so you can choose a countertop that has a high percentage of recycled plastic. This old plastic would already be on its way to a landfill or dump, so reusing it is a good move. Some countertops are even made with old yogurt containers [source: U.S. Building Council's Green Home Guide]. Another benefit of recycled plastics is that they don't release VOCs.

There is a downside, however. This type of countertop, while made from recycled materials, cannot be recycled again, so even though you saved the plastic once, you won't be so lucky again.