Plastic. Is. Everywhere. From grocery bags to water bottles to food packaging, it’s impossible to avoid and nearly 300 millions tons of it is produced each year. We can cut down on our personal consumption by using reusable items, but what happens to that bottle or that take-out container that you tossed into the recycling bin? Can we prevent it from just turning into more plastic?
After plastic is thrown in the recycling bin, it gets sorted into different polymers groupings (aka those numbers surrounded by arrows on packaging). If the polymers get mixed together, they have hard time bonding together during the recycling process – they act a bit like oil and water. Once the polymers are separated, the plastics are melted down to create plastic pellets that will be used to create new plastic materials.
But what if you want to go a step farther and prevent plastic from becoming yet another piece of plastic? Luckily, there are companies who have been innovative enough to create products from these recycled plastics. For example, plastics with the “1” symbol on them are now being turned into fabric that is perfect for anything that needs to be durable – bags, jackets, shoes, carpet and more! We especially love the Engage Green Yoga Mat Bag made out of PET plastic – it’s survived countless yoga classes and bike rides and still looks (and smells!) brand new.
There are also companies taking advantage of the strength and flexibility of plastic bags. Plastic bags can be fused into sheets or turned into long strips and woven into items that are not only durable but also attractive. Need convincing? Check out the weaving by Reform used to upholster furniture or the MOVMT collection to see how fashionable plastic bags pulled from the oceans can be!
With virtually every piece of plastic that has ever been created still in existence, it’s incredibly important to ensure that we are reducing, reusing, and recycling as much of it as possible. We can create new, higher quality products, and make a fashion statement!
Every one of us can make a difference! ✌🌎🌳🐋💧