Recycling Plastic Bottles to Make Fabric

Recently, technical textiles specialist Polartec announced that they have now recycled an incredible one billion clear plastic bottles into fabric, which is used to make outdoor clothing. Learn more about recycling plastic bottles to make fabric below.

Recycling Plastic Bottles to Make Fabric
A billion bottles is enough to make the fleece fabric for 27 million outdoor jackets.

To put this number in context, stacked end-to-end those bottles would reach halfway to the moon.

Polartec has been recycling plastic bottles and using the waste to produce fabrics since 1993 and in 2010 it launched REPREVE 100—a high quality fleece produced entirely from post-consumer waste. Today this fabric is used by a number of brands in the production of outdoor clothing.

In the UK, almost 5 billion plastic bottles were sent to landfill in 2012, but a billion bottles suffices to produce the fleece fabric for 27 million outdoor jackets.

How jackets are made from recycled plastic bottles?

  1. Clear plastic bottles thrown away by consumers are made into polyester chips
  2. The chips are melted down
  3. Purification and other chemical processes are performed
  4. Molten polyester is extruded into fiber
  5. The fiber is spun into yarn to produce Polartec fabric
  6. Polartec fabric is made into clothes by clothing manufacturers

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Written by Jenny Nickelson

Jenny Nickelson has been a sports enthusiast since childhood. Because of her deep love to water, she started training swimming in early years. Today she swears on variety and does it all: from swimming, running and cycling to fitness, skiing, dancing and mountaineering.


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