It so happens to be the case that billions of plastic bottles are being put to use to make clothing.
Almost 400,000 college students will be wearing gowns made of processed plastic bottles this year during the diploma-accepting ceremony. This is not a fraudulent piece of news or a hoax.
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It is basically all about recycling garbage and keeping it outside landfills. Unifi, a firm, produces 300 million pounds of polyster and nylon each year. The company wanted to be creative and show greater responsibility on the social front.
The way was Repreve. This is the clothing material manufactured by the company. This fiber brand is being churned out from recycled materials. The recycling center of the company lies in North Carolina and happens to be 50,000 square feet in area.
Plastic bottles, waste materials and pieces of dirty fabric are all deposited here. The plastic bottles are firstly decomposed and chopped up into flakes. Then these plastic flakes are bought and turned into small bullet-like pieces.
There are three types of fabric made from this recycled plastic, according to CNN. First there is 100% plastic bottle material. Then there is a mixture of plastic bottles and fiber. Finally, there is a mix of plastic bottles and used fabric.
Since its launch in 2009, the production quota for the company has increased by 20% per year. Everything from jackets to T-shirts and pants and even car seat covers have been made this way. Brands such as Levis, Nike and Adidas use this form of recycled stuff. Also graduation gowns are made from this material.
A single gown takes 27 bottles in its manufacturing process. Over 1250 schools use the Repreve gowns. These include Michigan State and Yale among their repertoire.
It is all a question of waste disposal, energy-saving and environment-savvy behavior. The gowns are the best use of the scraps of plastic, fiber and fabrics.
Over 72 million pounds of Repreve fiber is made per year. The goal for now is a 100 million pounds of the material on an annual basis.
Over 4 billion bottles have been converted into fabric in the past half a dozen years or so. One of the spokespersons for the company said that as long as it was made from a PET bottle, his company would gladly recycle it.
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