In the fight against plastic waste, you’ll find lots of terms and abbreviations that might not make sense at first sight. But once you learn about them they turn out to be very interesting and valuable in the reduction of plastic disposal. The term rPET is a good example of this.
What is rPET?
You might be familiar with PET, which stands for polyethylene terephthalate. It’s the most common type of plastic and is molded and solidified into PET plastic containers which can contain food, beverages, cleaning solutions, medications, beauty products and so on. It’s the type of plastic we see in the grocery store. PET is considered an easily recyclable type of plastic and some of these packagings will be washed and remelted into new containers. However, only a tiny amount of collected plastic is lean and clean enough to be recreated into product containers. The rest can for example be turned into recycled polyester yarn. This is what we call rPET. From rPET we can create almost any textile, varying from fabrics for clothes to bags, uniforms, interior and packaging.
The benefits of rPET
The biggest benefit of rPET is the decrease of plastic waste that enters our ocean and landfills. Out there, a piece of plastic takes multiple hundreds of years to break down as it can’t be biologically degraded. (Marine) animals ingest pieces, which messes up their internal organs. rPET clothing makes sure the plastic waste is reduced and finds a new purpose for disposed goods.
Luckily PET is a type of plastic that’s very easy to recycle. You can tell a product is made of PET by the number 1 in their recycling label on the back or the bottom of the packaging. It’s extremely important to sort your trash and use the right bin, so these PET packagings will end up on the right pile to be offered a new life as either a new package or a piece of rPET fabric.
Shop your own rPET clothing
Waste2Wear collects plastic waste and turns the pieces into pellets that will then be melted and spun into thread that is used to make rPET clothes and bags. Our products are sold in stores, so you can choose to wear clothes made out of recycled water bottles as well. Buying from companies that make clothing out of plastic waste sends a message in the good direction and makes sure we can continue the process of finding new purposes for plastic debris.
Let's reduce plastic waste together
Have a look at the Waste2Wear | Ocean Plastic Project, and scroll through the fashion items of different Dutch brands.