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Discussion Forum - Environment Matters - Your fleece was once plastic drinks bottles!

Author: Steph Carter
Posted: Thu 9th Aug 2012, 22:14
Joined: 2011
Local Group: North Yorkshire
Most walkers possess at least one polyester fleece, but did you know that making fleeces is one of the most common ways to recycle* clear plastic drinks bottles. PET (Polyethylene terephthalate if you must!) is what polyester is called when it is used for packaging. Many of the empty plastic drinks bottles you sort for recycling will end up as polyester fleeces.

Recycling has a * in the paragraph above because recycling really means re-using a material for the same use as it originally had... turning PET bottles into polyester fleeces is technically "down-cycling"

The good news is that recycling has now advanced enough for PET bottles to actually be safely recycled into more PET bottles, as plastic sorting technology and cleaning technology has advanced such that it is now considered safe for previously used PET to be recycled and re-used for food products... the problem is this technology is new, expensive, and still relatively uncommon, so your empty spring water and cola bottles will reappear as your polyester fleeces for some time yet.

Recycling however still costs money and uses energy- so the best way to be environmental is to re-fill your old spring water bottles with tap water, and use them again and again, rather than throw them away ( and tap water is far cheaper than bottled water!)

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