Do you know that there was a time when plastic bottles were a threat to the environment?
Today, plastic bottles are being recycled and used to manufacture garments. In fact, most of the people wear this green garment made from used or recycled plastic bottles. In the current scenario of textile pollution, choosing green clothing is a sign of being responsible and sensible towards the environment.
However, not all plastics can be reused. You should see a recycling logo somewhere when you look at a plastic bottles. That is the logo that consists of three arrows that make a triangle. There should be a single digit inside a triangle. The plastics numbered between type 1 and type 7 are used to identify the type of plastic that was extracted from the container. This label helps recyclers to know which plastics have to be separated into different piles. Though this approach distinguishes seven different types of plastics, only one type can be recycled and reused as fabric or new bottles.
Polyethylene Terephthalate plastic (PET or PETE) is the name of this plastic. This kind of plastic was developed for use in soft drink bottles during the 1970s. It is relatively new. For many beverage manufacturers, it has essentially replaced glass bottles and is known worldwide as a safe and reusable packaging material.
How The Plastic Bottles Become T-shirts
PET bottles are separated and usually sorted by color from all other plastics. The main categories of color are translucent, blue and green. The separated bottles get crushed into large bales and delivered to recycling centers. The bales are shredded into small pieces known as PET flakes. The flakes are supplied in a chamber of hot air. The temperature is so high that it causes the flakes to slightly melt to the point where a hard candy-like coating forms. The flakes are then dried to remove any excess moisture. The resulting dried and hard PET flakes are forced through high temperature pipes that melt them into a thick liquid form.
The liquid polymer is forced to produce the filament of polyester by means of narrow filters. The filaments are five times thinner than a human hair. When it cools and hardens, the filaments are collected. At this point they are fed over rollers with air shooting at them. The method develops fibers that look closely like dental floss.
This yarn gets spooled onto giant spools then pulled over hot rollers to stretch the fabric. It gets stretch up to five times its original length. The stretching helps to combine polyester molecules that strengthen the final product. The yarn is then cooled, spun into spools and is ready to be woven into clothing or blended into clothing.