From Plastic Bottles to a Bag
Updated: Nov 12, 2019
"It's only one bottle" say 7 billion people.
Do you know it takes 450 years to decompose a single plastic bottle?
It is sad knowing the fact that many people are still not aware about the environmental impacts of plastic product usage. Hotter days, rising sea levels, and more frequent and intense weather changes are just some of the ways that our consumption is damaging our world. In Australia itself, the impact is as bad as long droughts, bush fires, coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef, animal extinction, reduction in health and food quality. If this continues, our ocean will be full of plastic bottles and sea life will become a myth
According to National Geographic, it is estimated that of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic that have been produced, 91% of them are not recycled. These distressing trends need to quickly change before we irreversibly damage our earth.
Unfortunately, things that we use everyday such as clothes and bags are mostly made from Polyester. Polyester contains PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate), the most common type of plastic in the world, which derives from crude oil. Studies suggest that Polyester is not a sustainable textile option, but it continues to be the material of choice for the fashion industry due to its low cost.
So what can we do about this? and what are our options?
To answer this question, we have been researching to find the solution. Thanks to technology and human inquisitiveness, we have found a way to alleviate the environmental impacts of our plastic footprint. This technology enables recycled plastic bottles to be transformed to recycled polyester, also known as rPET.
So, what are the processes in making rPET?
Plastic bottles are collected in "plastic collection centres"
These plastics are grinded to become milled materials
Milled materials go through a granulation process to make them become flakes
Removing all the colours through decolorisation process
Decolorised pellets are purified to become raw recycled polyester material
Materials are re-spun to become recycled polyester
This process forms the basic material of our products. 16 recycled plastic bottles are transformed into one of our shoulder bags.
Instead of discarding plastic bottles to landfill and the ocean, recycled polyester provides a second chance to a non-biodegradable material, converting it into useful products such as shirts, bags, shoes, etc.. Researchers suggest that rPET utilise significantly less resources to make, reducing the carbon footprint from production processes.
So, what can we do know? First, let's try to minimise the usage of single-use plastic products from our daily routine. Secondly, we should rethink our purchase options by searching for alternative eco-friendly products that can reduce plastic waste, crude oil consumption, and energy consumption. The option is now yours to keep our ocean blue and our land green.