PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate, widely known as polyester, is a clear, strong, and light plastic used for various things like in the textile industry and packaging. It is non-biodegradable and sheds toxic materials into the ecosystem. Due to its high durability, it takes hundreds of years to break down. Most of the world’s clothing is made up of polyester, and a study says that polyester will be the sole fabric to be used in clothing and will mark up to 90% of it shortly.
The non-profit organization Textile Exchange confronted over fifty giant clothing and textile companies regarding their consumption of polyester and asked them to increase their usage of recycled PET by 25% by the end of 2020. These companies did it so nicely that they covered more than 30% before the end of 2020.
HOW IS IT MADE?
rPET is made from recycled polyester that is it makes use of existing polyester. It is melted and then spun into new yarn to make Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate. It can be made from post-industrial waste and post-consumer output. The idea of turning plastic bottles into a shirt goes back to the 1990s. The widely known popularity of this idea sounds fun but is not as easy as it sounds. It feels like a miraculous idea but is not as simple. The usage of recycled polyester makes us conscious consumers.
It is considered a sustainable measure as it reduces the use of new production of polyester, it makes use of the previous ones, and limits the impacts on the ecosystem. Also it prevents the used plastic from ending up in the oceans and saves aquatic life. This substance also minimizes the greenhouse gas effect created by the production of polyester . rPET is highly recyclable and can be produced using lesser resources. It can be recycled again and again without any quality degradation. rPET stops the use of petroleum as raw material and lowers its extraction. It also helps in the reduction of landfills and plastic incineration. Recycled polyester emits 55% less carbon dioxide than virgin polyester production. Using Recycled polyester can help remove soil, air, and water contamination. This smooth and tough fabric retains all the properties of its counterpart and is more sustainable.
The idea of recycled polyester sounds like the ultimate more relaxed cue than some empty bottles converted into a charming fashion outfit. And the benefits of this material are surprising. But as we discover the pros, the cons come along.
The recycling of PET is very energy-intensive as the initial garment or thing can be a mixture of many components, which makes it difficult as separation of the other material would be required, which is a lengthy process. The challenge is to find a more advanced method. There are two methods by which recycling can be done: Mechanically and Chemically
Microplastics are released in the production of rPET. According to a study, microplastics comprise 85% of human-made debris on seashores.
There is no actual cycle, but it is instead an interrupted cycle. It isn’t easy to track the origin of a polymer.
Stopping the use of PET entirely is not a solution, but the recycling process can be carried out where it is of actual value, like in shoes and accessories. The recycled Pet should be sourced from the same industry to make a closed cycle. The fabrics should be created without blends of different materials to ease the breakdown process.
ALSO CHECKOUT OR RECENT POST ON RIGID BOXES.