PET or PETE stands for polyethylene terephthalate. It is one of the most used plastics and it is commonly recycled. The majority of PET is used in containers for beverages, cooking oil, and peanut butter. PET can be recycled for use in clothing, carpets, sleeping bags and more.
Have you ever noticed the numbers imprinted on the bottom of plastic containers? PET is labeled with #1. PET is one of the most popular types of packaging because it is lightweight, inexpensive, shatter resistant and durable.
Did you know that recycling a ton of PET containers saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space?
The first PET bottle was recycled in 1977. Since then huge technological advancements have made it possible to turn recycled PET into, among other things, comfortable & durable clothing. What do these advances mean to the average person? It means that the products we use now have the ability to come full circle and be used again.
One of the most impressive features of our recycled poly is the source of the fiber - recycled plastic (PET) soda pop bottles. The bottles are refined and purified, chopped down and processed into spun fiber strands. These strands are then knitted and woven into fabric.
1. The process begins at your local recycling depot, where the plastic pop bottles are sorted and baled for pickup. The plastic is technically called polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
2. At the processing plant, the caps and labels are removed, and the bottles are then separated by color.
3. After sterilization, the bottles are crushed and then chopped into flake.
4. These tiny pieces of flake are poured into large vats, where they are melted and stirred. This produces a thick liquid that's extruded through shower-head like devices to create fibrous, polyester strands.
5. The fiber strands are then stretched to produce thinness and strength. The strands are crimped, cut into short pieces and baled for shipping to clothing manufacturers where the thread is knitted and woven into fabric. The fabric can then be made into fleece, T-shirts, carpeting, bags, caps, etc.