You know when you spot an empty plastic bottle, pick it up and chuck it in the bin? There are companies who do that – times a million. And instead of binning it, they rescue it so it can be reused.
There are lots of different plastics – they need to be separated into their own categories. This is really important because different types of plastic don’t mix well together. We want the best recycled product possible.
The plastic goes into a huge machine that eats plastic. When the bottles hit the teeth of the machine, the bottle is instantly broken down into tiny flakes. Any impurities, like paper, are removed.
These flakes are then put in super high temperature ovens. For PET – one of the most common types of plastic – the oven needs to be over 250 degrees, scorcher.
The melted liquid is spun at really high speeds so it turns into a thread-like fibre. This is the recycled yarn we use to make new clothes.
Hey presto! Hard plastic turned into textile. This can be used to make swimwear, knitwear, socks or whatever… and you wouldn’t know the difference.