According to National Chemicals Laboratory, India produced about 1500 kilo-tonnes of PET in 2015-16. Recycling these bottles can generate over INR 3000 crores annually. Taking up on this opportunity, Paragon Apparels, the company producing sportswear for international brands such as Adidas and Reebok since 2001, has started to use these PET to recycle them and convert them into T-shirts.
Generally, sports garments are made of polyester, which ensures elasticity. Polyester is a manmade fibre which consumes huge quantities of water, chemicals and fossil fuels. It also leaves by-products which are toxic making it hazardous to the environment.
Replacing polyester with recycled PET is not only a productive solution of tacking the plastic waste in the country, but is also beneficial to the environment. The use of recycled PET reduces the carbon emissions by 54%, energy consumption by 50% and also reduces the water consumption.
Paragon Apparels use 8 PET bottles to convert into one sports wear t-shirt. Today, up to 50% of Paragon’s entire apparel line is made of recycled plastic PET bottles. The company produces over 4,000 pieces of such garments every day and sells more than 50,000 units every month.
However, while washing the clothes made of recycled plastic releases large amounts of plastic microfibres into water, according to the environmentalists. This remains undetected by filters as well as the sewage treating plants. It is estimated that half a million tonnes of plastic micro fibres, equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles, shed during washing ends up in the ocean and ultimately enters the food chain. Thus, technically the clothes made by recycled plastic might do more harm to the health and the environment than good.
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The CSR Journal Team