By Pulau Intan Lestari
Mar, 12, 2022
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Just like a traditional polyester, recycled polyester is a man-made fabric produced from synthetic fibers. However, instead of utilizing new materials to craft the fabric (i.e. petroleum), recycled polyester makes use of existing plastic. Yes, plastic which we find in daily life; like plastic bottles or food containers. When we buy any drink water product, sometimes we can find labels that say ‘recycle bottle’ but in fact this is hardly ever true. Rather than being recycled into new bottles, the majority of beverage bottles are exported to plastic manufacturers in emerging markets and used to make synthetic fabrics for clothing.
How is recycled polyester made? It can be done by melting down existing plastic and re-spinning it into new polyester fiber. Polyester fiber can be processed to make yarn, then fabric, and finally become new clothes. At this time, these are the things we can do to support sustainable fashion, especially in polyester or non-natural fibers.
Recycled polyester gives a new life to a material which is non-biodegradable and would otherwise end up in the ocean and landfills. On the quality side: recycled polyester is just as good as virgin polyester but takes less resources to make. Its production requires 59 percent less energy compared to virgin polyester. In another fact, manufacturers of recycled polyester aim to reduce CO2 emissions by 32 percent in comparison to regular polyester.
Finally, recycling has become something needed in sustainable living. Beside reducing the amount of trash we throw out, it also saves energy better than produce from a raw material. Recycled polyester at this time may not be fully sustainable as natural cotton, but it creates a more sustainable approach to manufacturing polyester.