Staff Pick | Recycled plastic in locally made furniture

Updated: 2012-10-21T03:39:28Z


The Kansas City Star

Kansas City furniture maker PK Steel Designs has begun using 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic panel in its furniture.

The recycled plastic is called Origins, made by Yemm & Hart of Marquand, Mo., in the northeastern section of the Mark Twain National Forest. Many plastics are one color, but Origins has subtle color patterning from carton labels. Charles Brown, co-owner of PK Steel Designs, likes that if you look closely, you can spot “calories” or bits of other words on the surface.

It takes eight milk jugs to make a pound of Origins. One of PK Steel’s end tables with two panels takes 100 milk jugs.

PK Steel Designs was founded in 2005 by Brown and Jakob Goldman, both lifelong Kansas City area residents. For more, call 913-522-1474 or go to

Steel, the primary material in PK Steel’s designs, is recycled in the U.S. more than paper, plastic, aluminum and glass combined, the Steel Recycling Institute says.

“Although one cannot tell by looking,” Brown says. “With Origins, some of our pieces take on a softer and colorful look that often acknowledges the plastics’ recycled origins.”

To reach Stacy Downs, House + Home editor and writer, call 816-234-4780 or send email to Follow her at

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