Back then, plastic bottles were an innovation, the durable material was not only light but also flexible. What do we need more of a material? It was the perfect alternative for the glass that broke, for the aluminum that crumbled. A lot of companies ditched glass for plastic. But the story of plastic didn’t end happily as it was expected.
Production of plastic has become huge in no time, doubling every decade, and the negative side of plastic showed up in the same generation. Plastic produced since 1950 weighs 1,600 Great Pyramids of Giza. Well, I told you, it’s huge.
Globally, more than 1,000,000 plastic bottles are sold every minute. Each one will only be used for the time a person takes to drink 0.6 liter and then it’s thrown away. That “away” is inexistent, instead there is landfills and oceans.
Nowadays plastics are derived from fossil fuels because it’s cheaper than plastic that are derived from plants. Crude oil and natural gases are the essential components. Its production consumes lots of energy (heat and pressure) to mold it in a wide number of shapes. And will not get decomposed until after 450 years.
It just ends us polluting our beautiful sceneries, filling natural habitats and endangering the lives of lots of animals. Even as it decomposes, it emits lots of greenhouse gases (not good for us, nor for the environment, increasing only the effect of global warming).
Though these plastic bottles seem like a trash, we, at Up-fuse see it as an opportunity to be turned into a new material, maybe more than an opportunity but a valuable material, especially because it became trash and will only stay that way for at least 450 years if we, as humans, didn’t interfere. Following our motto “Nothing is ever wasted”, we found a way to transform again waste into fashion.
The Society of The Plastics Industry did us a favor, telling us which chemicals are used in each product so we can know which can be recycled. They inscribed its number inside a recycling cycle, calling it resin identification code.
PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) bottles are plastic number 1, you can check it on any water bottle. The PET has to be removed from any other materials, even the drops of water that remains in the bottle, so the mix doesn’t affect the quality of the thread that will be created! For instance, the plastic bottle has to be separated from the bottle cap (that’s made of another type of plastic) and from the label or sticker that’s on the bottle. This is done by some sorting machines when the different materials will float and can then be collected.
This is done through the shredding phase. Clear or white plastics are the most valuable because they can be turned into white thread, that can be dyed afterwards. The plastic shredding is then sent to another machine that heats the material so it can be pushed through to form thread. Many processes are then undergone for the thread formed to be strong enough and make it smoother so it feels nice on your body.
This process is not easy. Plastic bottles should first be collected by people, that’s a tiresome job, but is essential to the cycle as it is the base of any recycling industry. Please don’t take this solution as an opportunity to use more plastic bottles, there is enough already on the surface of the Earth, and only 30% gets reused in a way or another. Just think twice before buying a water bottle and remember our first solution is to “reduce”. Better go the safe way!
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