RPET fabric or recycled polyethylene terephthalate is an emerging reusable and sustainable material. Before it was recycled, PET (polyethylene terephthalate) was commonly known as polyester. This can include pre - or post-consumption waste.
Considering RPET fabric is growing in popularity, companies are creating special edition products made from the material. Trendy retailers like Adiddas, Lululemon, and Converse carry products made from the recycled materials. First, to make products using rPET fabric, the companies must work with external sources to obtain plastic bottles. Next, the bottle is mechanically broken down into tiny flakes. The sheet is then spun into yarn. Finally, the yarn is woven into a recycled polyester fabric. Hence stylish sneakers from Converse and comfy leggings from Lululemon. Customers of all ages can enjoy these recycled polyester products.
It is a great idea to use sustainable rPET fabrics when you manufacture them correctly. With growing concern about the amount of plastic in oceans and landfills, cleanup companies help reduce our carbon footprint. Cleanup groups such as Clean Ocean Action and 4Ocean are recycling more plastic materials to make into materials such as recycled polyester. The energy used to produce RPET fabrics is 33-53% less than that used to produce native polyester. Thanks to the demand for recycled polyester, we're saving our oceans and landfills from plastic materials; Especially water bottles.
RPET Fabric: The Pros and Cons:
RPET is very easy to recycle. PET bottles are easily distinguished by their "#1" recycling label and are accepted by most recycling programs. Reusing plastic not only offers a better alternative to landfills, but helps give it a second life. Recycling plastics into materials such as polyester, for example, can reduce our need to use new resources. More than half of the first PET production is used to make recycled polyester fabrics. By using recycled PET, we are reducing the need to create new textiles.
As a result, RPET provides a market for recycled plastic, recycling waste programs and recycled goods are seen as items of value to consumers. According to EarthHero, "Recycling common plastic in one year can save the energy equivalent of taking 360,000 cars off the road in the United States."
We know that RPET has potential for recycling. But, it's still plastic. Even though plastics can break down or break down, microfibers or microplastics remain. rPET in fabric form after washing can contain tiny plastic fibers that can break off and return to landfills or the ocean, harming its inhabitants. Needless to say, plastic waste will stay here for quite some time. Although, renewing the life of already manufactured plastic products is a step in the right direction.
Unfortunately, even the recycling process can have a negative impact on the environment. Making products from recycled plastic does require less energy, but it still releases carbon emissions in the process.
Why recycling is still important:
- Statistics from Greener Fabrics: The leading suppliers of RPET fabrics show that (as compared to pure polyester) :
- Reduce energy consumption by 85%
- Emissions reduced by 65%: carbon and sulfur dioxide reduced by 50-65%
- A 90% reduction in water consumption
Plastic bottles take about 700 years to decompose, so it's important to get them out of landfills and waterways. During the decomposition process, the bottle did not completely disintegrate. As a result, they become tiny pieces of microplastic. Even if we don't see them, they can still damage ecosystems.
Recycled PET is not yet a perfect solution, but it still finds new life for plastic. Creating a new life for plastic water bottles is a good place to start. In addition to shoes and clothes made from RPET fabric, reusable shopping bags can also be made from the material; Shopping bags made of this material can also reduce the use of single-use plastic bags. Given its advantages and disadvantages, RPET is the more sustainable option.