Recycling: from PET bottles to Polyester clothing

What happened to your recyclables? This video, prepared by the National Geographic, illustrates the process of transforming PET bottles into Polyester clothing in just 5 minutes.

The video starts at a UK Bottle Recycling Center.

  • Sorting – separation of the bottles from the waste stream
  • Shredding – to remove remaining content from the bottles
  • Bailing and transporting to China
  • Sorting – to remove unwanted materials
  • Bathing – to separate HDPE and PET and a second caustic bath to remove glue 
  • Heating – to colour the polyester
  • Threading – to transform hard pieces of plastic into fibres
  • Stretching – to strengthen fibres
  • Fluffing – transform hard pieces of plastic into fluff
  • Carding – transform fluff into a continuous web
  • Making polyester sheets
  • Making clothing
Unfortunately, the video is not of very good quality.

Since the restrictions on import of plastic waste in China, it is likely that this video is not exactly up to date anymore. But still, it gives a clear overview of the steps involved in the production of clothing from plastic bottles.

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About Zero Waste City

Zero Waste City is a consulting business specialised in waste reduction for commercial and industrial facilities. We help companies to save money by reducing waste and to achieve Zero Waste goals. Our services include:

Our services include:

  • Waste audit (quantifying waste streams and identifying immediate cost saving opportunities)
  • Compliance with regulations such as:
    • Mandatory Packaging Reporting
    • Mandatory Waste Reporting
    • Mandatory Food Waste Segregation
  • Project implementation and on-going support
  • Measurement and Verification of savings
  • Guidance to achieve Zero Waste goals and certifications.