this report from The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Choose recycled polyester over virgin. Recycled polyester: the cons Recycling plastic has its limitations – Many garments are not made from polyester alone, but rather a blend of polyester and other materials. Because there’s one major con and I’ve only recently realized the extend of it. Wash less often and invest in a front-load washing machine – studies have shown that polyester clothes shed more fibres in a top loading machine than in a front loader. Shrinkage for PET or polyester is very low, which is another desirable quality. Well, polyester is a strong material, it’s easy to care for, and it’s wrinkle resistant. I can’t think of a natural alternative that works just as well (although I am researching this as we speak) and admittedly, I even bought a shirt made from recycled polyester recently. Also, this report from The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is worth a read. Polyester fabric comes in several variations, including knits and jerseys. Learn how your comment data is processed. In addition to improving recycling rates, there are additional opportunities to enhance the recyclability of PET materials. Mechanical recycling of PET is achieved through the reprocessing of primarily PET bottles. 2. The National Retail Federation (NRF) Urges USTR To Avoid Tariffs Against Vietnam, Hemp Black: Unique Technologies Derived From A Unique Input, Hemp: A Reintroduction To One Of The Original Textile Inputs. Companies such as Nike now make products from large quantities of recycled waste, while H&M is increasing embracing recycled polyester. Recycled Polyester Garments: Conclusion. Using recycled polyester lessens our dependence on petroleum as a source of raw materials. It utilizes waste and … Now, consider all of the chemicals pumped into the atmosphere and all of the energy used to power the plants. Required fields are marked *. This is because, as I explained, most of these garments are destin for the landfill after you wear them. Polyester is the worst fabric you can buy. If plastic bottles don’t belong in the landfills, they certainly don’t belong on the body. In states that have implemented container rebate values (CRV), recycling rates exceed 70 percent, but in those states that have not implemented a CRV system, recycling rates are 20 percent or lower10. As the textile industry uses mostly inputs from mechanical recycling of PET bottles, this article will focus primarily on this source of material. I hope you do too. Choose quality over quantity – quality garments seem to shed less. Hi Hella, The way in which the United States collects bottles lacks standardization and results in great variability of materials. teeki Yoga Gear is Crafted from Recycled Water Bottles [Image: Trendhunter] 1.There is no specific staining gene, dyeing is difficult, and the dyeability is poor, but the color fastness after dyeing is very good and it is not easy to fade. This leads me to the cons of recycled polyester. Disadvantages include negative impact on the worker, animal, environment and poor product durability. Stemming from stories about the effect of plastic pollution on animals to microplastics in the Marianas Trench1, awareness is growing about the impact of plastic waste on the environment. In the case of water bottles, these choices lead to designs that may feature different types of plastics, utilize label adhesives that are not easy to wash off, and incorporate colorants that limit the use of the plastic. I know Parley for the Oceans are collecting plastic waste from the oceans and recycling it into shoes in collaboration with Adidas and jeans in collaboration with G-star. While, the most sustainable thing to do, might be to burn all the plastic and synthetic fibres out there (in a responsible way of course – maybe creating some heating for houses in the process), and then never produce virgin materials out of crude oil ever again, it is probably not the most viable thing to do at this stage. What is acrylic fabric? Among the trend is recycled plastic bottles being turned into fabrics which are considered sustainable to keep from them piling in the landfills. Well, no. Cons of Nylon 1. There are many disadvantages of recycled polyester yarns. And, the process is still far from perfect. The cons. With regard to chemical recycling, there is much needed research and development in the technology to realize a cost-effective process that also can deliver the scale required to meet growing demand. Thanks for this article! This blend was chosen because this shirt is designed for workouts. By 1968 synthetic fibres, such as polyester, surpassed the use of natural fibres including cotton and wool. This, plus awareness of sustainable materials, has led to increased consumer adoption of environmentally friendly products with special attention given to polyethylene terephthalate (PET), also known as polyester. More pollution and energy consumption. Recycled cotton has its niche for certain end uses, but the challenges posed by reducing the length and quality of recycled fiber can cause problems during production and to the end consumer. Choose recycled polyester over virgin. Apparently, when you wash your polyester clothes (virgin or recycled) they shed these little fibres that are so small that the filtering in our washing machines and wastewater treatment plants can’t catch them, so they end up in our waterways and our oceans, where fish will eventually eat them. In that case, it is more difficult, if not impossible, to recycle them. I know it’s quite tricky to collect garments. Always. In the United States, only approximately 29 percent of PET bottles are recycled9. Hi! Will get back to you if I remember anything else. The Dyer faces some problem during processing recycle polyester yarn such as color inconsistency between batch to batch, more dye consumption and deviation of base color recycle polyester from original polyester yarn. Recycled polyester is promoted by TE as a preferred fiber. Perspiration and heat are trapped next to the skin. Recycled polyester is toxic to the earth and the wearer. There is only a very limited supply of recycled flake available to meet the growing demand for recycled products across a wide range of industries. x. Recycling Facts: 10 plastic PET bottles = 1 lb (0.45 kg) of polyester fiber. I like the initiative when companies collaborate with locals to collect plastic bottles from coastal communities to recycle them into fabric. Acryllic fabric is made of polycrylonitriles and may cause cancer, according to the EPA. Choose natural materials when you can, Choose quality over quantity – quality garments seem to shed less. It’s contradicting, but the reality is that recycling tons of garbage will require waste to be transported, sorted, cleaned and processed in separate factories, all of which need energy and may result in … Although raw materials are not consumed as often with a recycling program in place, it is more effective from an energy standpoint to consume or use fewer items than it is to recycle the items that are consumed at current levels. Unilever also committed to 100-percent recyclable plastic packaging by 20256. Global PET production for 2018 is estimated at 79.3 million tons, of which 55.5 million tons were used in fiber and filament applications. PET is the name of the resin used to make light, transparent bottles for drinks, juices, soap and etc. If you are buying recycled poly, it's not as green as you may think. I actually don’t of any factories recycling polyester garments instead of bottles. Substantial improvement can be made in the collection of bottles, but the majority of virgin polyester production and thus waste18is not used in bottles. Because the recycling process reconstitutes the fiber on a molecular level, there is no difference between recycled polyester and virgin polyester. While the addition of natural cotton fibers does help to make the finished fabric softer and more comfortable than 100% polyester, there are some disadvantages to polyester cotton. However, more effort will be needed in terms of long-term commitments and significant capital investment. On the recovery side, the waste stream is not optimized for recycling, making the processing of waste materials difficult and expensive. Swedish stockings are collecting old stockings to recycle, but of course that’s nylon and not polyester. Patagonia has done a lot of research that they happily share on their blog The Cleanest Line. If it is exposed to holes such as Mars and soot, it is easy to form holes. Packaging and materials often are designed for ease of manufacture, cost savings or market impact and sustainability is not always considered. This is … The cons of polyester fabric: Less breathable: the fact polyester is a plastic-based fabric means it has limited breathability. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Although this fibre is wrinkle-resistant, easy to clean and dries quickly, it is notorious for a number of reasons: The first of these is that the fabric is not environment-friendly. Many companies do it, but the sorting and recycling process is still not in place to scale things. Production of polyester fabric involves significant quantities of chemicals, raw materials and by-products that are toxic and can pollute water and air and cause health issues. Even though it’s cheaper than other high-quality eco-friendly alternatives, it still sits at a higher price compared to other synthetic fabrics. The primary problems that exist on the supply side are with waste stream collection and recovery. There is also glass in the clothing due to single stream recycling. Recycled polyester not only contributes to the reduction of petroleum extraction, but it also consumes less energy than the regular method, and allows for a much longer life-cycle of the garment. 3. This is termed re-manufacturing. Mechanical recycling for these types of materials is even more challenging than bottles, and as such, significant strides in the area of chemical recycling will have to be made so the recycling process can break down the polymer, remove any contaminant impurities and convert the polyester component materials back into PET. Currently, there is no single company that is capable of addressing the limitations of the supply chain with regard to rPET. And so, if you eat fish you’re probably eating plastic too. PET is 100% recyclable. Your email address will not be published. Global collection of PET bottles was only 12.8 million tons and during the process of converting the used PET bottles collected, approximately 2.2 million tons is lost as waste, leaving 10.6 million tons as usable flake7. © 2020 The New Fashion Norm. And while it’s great we’ve found a use for all those non-reusable plastic bottles we consume, it also means that there are still a lot of polyester garments out there, in landfills around the world, which do not biodegrade. Geotextile of polyester GEOPROTEC is a nonwoven composed of 100% recycled polyester. Plastic Recycling recovers the scrap or the waste plastic and reprocesses the material into useful products, The plastic is non-biodegradable, It includes melting down soft drink bottles and casting them as the plastic chairs and the tables, Plastics are recycled during the manufacturing process of plastic goods such as polyethylene film and the bags. I don’t think we’ll get rid of polyester anytime soon so, here’s what I’m doing to minimise my impact and what I recommend you do too: Interested in learning more about recycled polyester? Clearly, demand is growing, and the use of rPET will continue to increase. But with limited supplies of recycled material, there are significant challenges to meeting this demand. Bamboo fabric also wrinkles more than other fabrics. All rights reserved. Over the last few years, fashion brands—particularly in the direct-to-consumer space—began rolling out products made from discarded plastic. During the recycling process, bottles are crushed, washed and flaked. With regard to waste, encouraging practices that enable better recovery such as dual or multi-stream recycling, can lead to higher quality of recyclable materials13. Of the top of my head that’s all I can think of. For a synthetic product, nylon sits on the pricy side. Polyester might be recyclable, but it is not bio-degradable. Knitting / Apparel — Sponsored by OEKO-TEX®, Techtextil North America/Texprocess Americas, Industry Veteran Ben Talbert Launches Search Firm To Service Textiles, Industrial Sector. Second of all, have you heard of micro plastic? It is made from synthetic polymers that are made from esters of dihydric alcohol and terpthalic acid. One precaution that needs to be taken with polyester is that it must be dry before use since the material is hygroscopic. Moderately flammable material: polyester isn’t highly flammable and doesn’t always ignite. Therefore, methods of collection and recycling of items such as clothing, fabrics and carpets will need to be undertaken as well. Poor dyeability. In this article we will cover what polyester is, where it comes from, and its advantages and disadvantages. Even clothes that … At this time, because of supply constraints, prices for rPET are higher than that of virgin PET and the processing costs also limit the end-use applications to companies that can support a higher cost structure. Editor’s Notes: Eric Joo is general director of Honduras-based United Textiles of America S. de R.L. The disadvantage of recycling is that energy is still required to reuse items. I'm Hella and I'm so happy you dropped by. The challenges arising from shifting supply chains to meet changing demand from virgin PET to rPET are significant. However, gains in only bottle collection will not be sufficient to meet growing demand. Nylon is a pricy synthetic fabric. Of which, those made up of recycled polyester (polyester or synthetic fabrics) will then remain in the landfills indefinitely as non-biodegradable waste or they may become incinerated, leaching the harmful chemicals in which they were made into our … Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Performance and durability, benefits, including high strength and functional versatility of recycled polyester is the same than traditional polyester but with a lower environmental impact. Happy to stumble on your blog while exactly looking up pros and cons of recycled polyester. Poor resistance to melting. Choose natural materials when you can. Yes and no. Disadvantages. Two of the main contributors to flake loss are bottle design and waste contamination. 2. Japan has one of the most advanced recycling industries in the world and one of the main contributors to this status is because of regulations in place since 1997 that call for consumers, industry and government to cooperate in recycling and reusing plastic containers14. There are some brands and retailers that are leading the way, supporting the higher cost and helping to develop the supply chain. For example, the t-shirt that you see below is made from 95% recycled polyester and 5% spandex. Recycling begins with the use of materials for new items of clothing. The processing of petrochemicals results in large quantities of hazardous waste and the emissions can be irreversibly damaging to air, soil, and water. Recycled Polyester (rPET) has been developed using the clear plastic water bottles, or PET as the raw material. de C.V.; and Jee-Eun Oh is an educator based in Los Angeles. However, there are various new initiatives for improving and lowering the cost, spearheaded by companies such as Carbios, GR3N, Loop Industries, Resinate Materials Group and Worn Again. As the construction industry moves away from toxic materials and closer to eco-friendly materials, insulation has not been left out. Polyester material disadvantage. In addition to mechanical recycling, there are alternatives such as chemical recycling that breaks PET down from a polymer to mono… Synthetic Fiber Polyester is a man-made fiber made of coal, air, water and petroleum products. Reusing waste and limiting the introduction of virgin materials are of tremendous economic and environmental value. One of the most effective methods of incentivizing bottle collection is through regulations that offer a financial incentive. When grown outside of its native habitat it can easily take over and outcompete native species; Bamboo tends to shrink more than all cotton fabrics, therefore special laundering may be required. It’s an environmental benefit to keep it out of the landfills.… A Comparison Of Natural And Man-Made Yarns In Common Knit Footwear... Texprocess Americas Virtual Symposium: Industry 4.0 And The Evolution Of Printing. This article on chemical recycling process is the 4th article on the series of textile recycling.You are already aware that there are two types of textile recycling, mechanical and chemical recycling and these are based on the use of mechanics and … One of the primary issues facing increased growth and supply of rPET is the lack of an available, existing supply. Of the remaining flake, approximately 56 percent is used in fibers, which means that 5.9 tons is used in fiber applications8 ranging from nonwoven industrial end-uses to automotive, home and apparel textiles. Is polyester safe? GEOPROTEC presents a number of advantages: Improves and extends the life and performance of constructions. For a long time, I thought recycled polyester was one of the most sustainable materials available today. Making sustainability the new norm in fashion, 94924bb941da9f499b8d2f55984fd549.jpg 416×579 pixels. { Some of my favourite polyester garments (some made from recycled polyester) and my research necessities ( black coffee <3 ) }. So, if polyester is so bad, how can it be so popular? I write about eco fashion and slow living because I want to act, consume and dress more consciously, so we can keep this beautiful planet of ours for generations to come. One of the primary issues facing increased growth and supply of rPET is the lack of an available, existing supply. I have always had my doubts about polyester, especially virgin polyester and especially since realising it’s actually made from crude oil. Collection practices may range from bin sorting of different materials, single bin recycling and single-stream recycling. The plant is invasive. Wish me luck, returned to the Gym after a while. 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