Plastic bottles can be recycled into a polyester fabric. New Balance has introduced this technology in their athletic shoes. About eight bottles can make one pair of shoes (New balance). The process starts with the bottles being separated by color and then reduced into tiny flakes. After being melted down the “molten plastic” is exuded through spinnerets that form the filament shape. The filaments are stretched over large rollers to increase strength and tenacity and then are crimped. The crimped fibers are smoothed out and woven into sheets of fabric.
This innovative process is now being used on clothing as well as furniture fabric. “Plastic derived fabrics have superior insulating properties” (Oxford 2012). Many products that implement this process are manufacturers of sports and outdoor clothing. Large numbers of consumers are welcoming this idea as they are excited to embrace something that is very eco-friendly and innovative.
EcoSpun. Retrieved from http://eartheasy.com/wear_ecospun.htm
Oxford, Nancy. (2012) Recycling fiber. Retrieved from http://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/10/994/recycling-fiber1.asp
Recycled material and the newSKY shoe. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.newbalance.com/wellness/newsky/recycled-material-and-the-newsky-shoe/