PET in to Yarn

Ramesh S
(Author is an Sustainability Enthusiast and you can contact at )

In 2015 Nike unveiled Team India's new One-Day International kit which the players sported in the triangular series in Australia. The new lightweight kit had combination of high performance and innovation with sustainability. Each kit -- jersey and bottoms E28093 was made out of an average of 33 recycled plastic bottles.

We all would be wondering how textile Fibres are made out of recycled pet bottle.Once a discarded pet bottle is collected and sorted at a recycling facility it is bundled together in large bales. These bales are taken to reclaiming facility and throughly cleaned. The bottles are separated by color that is clear bottles would produce white polyester yarn and the green greenish yarn and so on. These sorted bottles are grinded Into small flakes which are tossed in hot air to give them hard coating and further melted to a thick liquid. This liquid is passed through plates having small holes. The liquid passing through these small holes forms filaments that are less than five times finer than a human hair. Machines are used to spool the yarn thus made over hot metal rollers to stretch it and realign the polyester. The resulting yarn is woven to polyester clothing.

There has been a fundamental change in our culture when it comes to recycling and sustainability. In India the younger generation thinks differently than the older generation. More and more people are resorting towards sustainable way of living as they are starting to recognize the shortage of both land fills and oil.

In India there exist a value chain itself in recycling of pet bottles. There are a large number of people involved in the PET recycling business, starting from the waste collectors to kabadiwallahs to small to medium traders, recyclers, and manufacturers who use recycled PET for various products. So when you throw next time a waste water bottle or a PET, for you it is just a waste, once it goes through a value chain or it transforms in to a business it self. Thus with this, lot of textile clusters and an eco system have come up in various part of the nation. There is a study growth for demand of textile yarn from recycled PET bottles with growing awareness, better technology, better applications and creation of fashion. Thus contributing for sustainability of the nation.

But with this there are still some challenges like how the recycling sectors are handling segregation and it waste. While caps from PET could be recycled, what about its labels etc. is there enough supply of recycled PET ? Are we able to feed the supply chain through out the year? Should we have a sustainable plastics mark on textiles produced from PET? Could government look at further incentives for sustainable plastic yarn? Could we promote more such sustainable living?

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