The New Trend: Recycled Plastic Clothing


It seems the waters have become a new textile hunting ground for several top brands like G-Star Raw, Adidas, Patagonia, and others. These businesses have been making clothes from plastics collected from the oceans, which is then turned into fibers. 

Adidas, for instance, has combined Ocean Plastics with a zero-waste 3D-printing technique to create a trendy athletic shoe as part of their partnership with Parley for the Oceans, an initiative that inspires repurposing ocean waste and raising awareness of our progressively dire plastics issues.

Some clothing companies have decided to use recycled plastics in the making of their products.

Plastic Clothing

Go to Everlane’s flagship store in San Francisco, go past the cocoon coats, and you’ll see the brand’s new initiative: clothing created from recycled plastic. It comes in the shape of a new outwear collection named ReNew which has saved some three million plastic water bottles from beaches and landfills, reusing them as synthetic fabrics.

The line of puffer jackets and plastic parkas follows a crazed fad from companies small (Rothy’s), big (Adidas), niche (Girlfriend Collective), and mainstream (H&M), all of which have of late incorporated recycled plastic into their clothing items. Some, such as Kelly Slater’s Outerknown line, reuse all types of shoreline waste as clothing. Others, like Timberland, repurpose only water bottles.

Plastics Live Forever

Water bottles, regardless if chipped, collected, or melted, can have a 2nd life as sneakers, yoga pants, or a puffy jacket. Brands like Patagonia have been using plastic for years. Though recently, more businesses are using recycled materials as a way to diminish their environmental impact, or maybe just to earn admiration from their customers. 

Sustainability marketing clearly earns brand street cred. What’s difficult to realize is exactly what effect these measures will have on the earth. But reusing plastics for shoes and clothing is a step in the right direction.  


Why Plastic Straws are Being Banned

The small size of straws makes it easy to forget about recycling.

You may have observed all the news articles about plastic straws lately. The small, apparently harmless utensil that goes practically unnoticed in your everyday life has made it onto a most-wanted list.

As of July 1, 2018, Seattle is the 1st American city to ban the use of plastic straws for vendors in the city, as well as plastic utensils and stir sticks.

Starbucks is one of the first globally-recognized brands to state it will be moving away from plastic straws. Besides changing to compostable straws, it will be offering a new strawless drink lid design on its regular cold-drink cups.

These large corporations and big cities are taking action to bring attention to the problem and begin a conversation about how harmful plastic is to the earth.

Moving away from plastic straws is good for the environment, but it may pose some challenges for business owners. Read on to find out why straws are being banned.

Why straws?

Based on the media attention plastic straws are getting, it may be shocking to learn they are not the principal type of plastic waste. That record goes to containers and food wrappers which account for over 30% percent of all plastic pollution. They are trailed by container caps and plastic bottles which are at over 15% percent, plastic bags at 11%, and lastly plastic straws and stirrers at 8%.

So why are straws a big target? The issue is its size. They are inconspicuous and small. So much so that folks often overlook they are plastic and don’t recycle them.

Straws that do get recycled frequently don’t make it through the mechanical recycling sorter since they are so lightweight and small. So, they get disposed of as garbage.

Knowing that most straws, recycled or not, will probably end up in our oceans, and knowing the number of straws being used every day, cutting back on the use or not using them at all, can make a big difference.


Could Reusable Bottles Making a Comeback?

Reusable glass bottles used to be a thing in the United States.

In the US, we’re used to recycling our plastic bottles and glasses, getting 5 to 10 cents back in return. But returning big reusable bottles emptied of beer for a refund at convenience, liquor and grocery stores is the norm in Mexico.  If you buy a liter of Tecate at a small liquor store, you’re told that the price is more than on the label because you’ll get a refund if you return the beer bottle. Some of the bottles have noticeably been cleaned before with a clear line of wear across the brown glass.

The practice of returnable bottles is common in Madagascar too, where you get a beer at roadside stands where they sell Gold or THB (Three Horses Beer) in returnable bottles.

You can also return a bottle of beer in Ecuador where there is only one choice in bottled beer, a large one or a small one.  Returnable beer bottles are common enough in Germany, as well. According to The Atlantic, in Norway, over 90% of all beverage containers sold are returned for recycling.

Why Not in the US?  

The practice of reusing bottles is good sense and it has always made American folks who are into recycling wonder, why don’t we do this in the US?  Of course, reusing bottles was typical in the US once upon a time. According to the Container Recycling Institute, the disposable can appeared in ‘38 and within 10 years encompassed 11% of the beer market in America. Reusable bottles fell to 86% of the market in that same time while non-reusable bottles increased to 3%.

Over time, the use of refillable bottles for both beer and soda dropped off dramatically.  Soft drink bottles were 100% refillable in ‘47, stated by GrassRoots Recycling Network. By 2000, under 1% of soft drinks were bottled in refillable containers.

Does Recycling Glass Really Help the Environment? (Part II) 


Recycling glass is a money saver.

Collect end product of various stages
To display your project, make a chart displaying the recycling process and show the end product afterward in each stage. Get old bottles that can be recycled to make new bottles. It would be better if the bottles are from the neighborhood bins.

Collect bottles of different colors and shapes. Clean them with hot water and soap, removing paper labels. Take their caps and metal strips off. Put the bottles in a line. Sort them by color- clear, green, and amber. This is the 1st stage of recycling.

After the glass bottles are washed out they are cut into little pieces called cullets. With adult supervision, and with gloves, you can collect the cullets or break the glass from the local recycling plant.

For the melting of the mixture of cullets and raw materials, you should not try to make a furnace since such high temperatures can be gotten only at a recycling plant. Never try this at home.

Glass Recycling Pays
Some countries have benefited from the financial gains that can be achieved from recycling glass. In the US for instance, some states have recycling programs that give cash incentives for most recycled glass products.

Recycling of Glass Conserves the Landscape
The aesthetic value of the earth is greatly improved with glass recycling. Many folks tend to litter parking lots and parks with glass and other packaging. Due to the mineral nature of glass, it will never decay. Recycling glass is very easy, and you can begin the process by dropping the glass you have into recycling bins.

Glass is an amazing substance. It can be recycled over and over again. The good thing about glass recycling is that the glass keeps its quality. Cullet is the most common glass. Imagine how many bottles of juice or soda are used daily. If we were to just throw them away, the earth would suffer greatly. It is therefore crucial that glass recycling is kept alive.


Does Recycling Glass Really Help the Environment? (Part I)

Recycling glass is one of many ways that we can take care of our planet,

Recycling glass is one of the numerous ways we can help eliminate waste and pollution. Each day we throw away masses of rubbish and glass is a huge part of it. Instead of letting landfills get filled with glass objects that are a threat to the environment and safety, we can reuse it.

Glass can be melted down and made into various other forms from glass fiber to drinking glasses. When the glass is taken to a recycling plant or manufacturing, it is smashed into littler pieces called cullet.

The broken pieces are crushed, sorted, cleaned, and prepared to be mixed with other raw materials such as sand and soda ash. The glass pieces and raw materials are melted in a furnace and then shaped into molds to make new bottles of different sizes and colors. New recycled jars and bottles are made in this way.

In countries like the USA, there are curbside recycling schemes that are specially-made boxes to collect glass that can be recycled. Some supermarkets, car parks and other public areas have glass bottle banks, where you can take your recyclable bottles and jars.


The cost savings of recycling is in energy usage. Compared to making glass from raw materials for the first time, the cullet melts at a lower temperature. So, we can reduce the amount of energy necessary for melting the glass.

Glass produced from recycled glass lessens related air pollution by 25% and related water pollution by 55%.

Recycling glass lessens the space in landfills that would otherwise be taken up by used jars and bottles.

Using glass for recycling means there are fewer glass objects sitting around in bins or landfills.

Benefits of recycling in your neighborhood
To find out the benefits of recycling glass, seek out what percentage is really recycled. You can speak with local authorities or visit the local recycling plant to find out the numbers.


Leave Plastic Alone and Go Back to Using Glass

Soda, juice, water, milk, they all come in plastic single-use-only bottles. Most of them end up in a landfill instead of a recycling bin. But back in the day, every one of them came in reusable glass bottles that were returned to the manufacturer when you were done with the liquid. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we could go back to those days? Just think how much trash we could keep off the ground!

Stack of plastic bottles for recycling

Beverage makers who are looking toward the future rather than the past should consider investing in glass bottling facilities. Most people I know, including myself, would definitely pick their product over other ones in plastic bottles.

Sure, it would necessitate an initial investment in glass bottles and the facilities, but just think about the return for the planet’s resources. Glass can be used over and over again between sterilizations, never seeing a recycling bin or trash bag. Furthermore, glass bottles can be constructed from old broken glass, so it’s a win-win situation.

The only downside I see to this would be the shipping costs connected with a heavier end product. However, I would have to imagine that we can come up with enhanced transportation choices before we can come up with a greater alternative to glass instead of plastic. Wouldn’t it be good to get your cold, refreshing drink in a nice glass bottle that can be safely used repeatedly, instead of a bottle or container that is just thrown in the garbage?

The bottom line when it comes to drinks, glass bottles are better and healthier. A lot of times, especially with soda, it can get old and lose its flavor due to sitting on the shelf for long periods of time in a plastic bottle.