Sunday, 15 Dec 2019

My Bottle in My Shoes

Plastic Shoes

In our blog “ Let Ocean Plastic Fuel Your Next Run“, we wrote about the initiative by Adidas, to recycle discarded plastic bottles for its  “ocean plastic” trainers. In this article we bring you a story of the recycling technology behind such initiatives. As per the report published in “The Hindu”, June10, 2019, Sportswear giant is set to tap Indian firm’s PET project to cut virgin plastic use., the marvel of recycling is finally picking up pace.

Five years ago, Polygenta Technology Ltd, set up its first plastic recycling factory in Nashik, India. In this factory, PET(Polyethylene Terephthalate) bottles are broken down and converted into high quality polyester filament yarn, comparable with yarn made through the conventional method. The yarn is used by sportwear giant, Adidas, who plan to eliminate use of virgin plastic in its products by2024.

This enables “upcycling” of plastic waste as opposed to “downcycling”. When waste gets recycled to create a product of lower value compared to the original material, it is termed downcycling; upcycling increases the value of the product as it traverses the recycling trail. The upcycling of PET bottles costs 10% more but consumes 86% less water and 75% less energy than conventional manufacturing. To read the full report, check this link.

With the recycling technology in place, what is remaining is an efficient method for disposal and collection. It is encouraging to note that technology to improve collection efficiency exists as well! Remember our report on the innovation to dispose plastic bottles,  “Simplifying Plastic Waste Disposal”? Airavath, is a machine that can shred plastic bottles as efficiently as 25 per minute! Aimed at reducing the volume of the plastic waste so as to enable easy transportation, an Airavath placed at the neighbourhood grocery store could just be the opportunity for the consumer to do his/her bit in saving the environment!

Next time you are running the city marathon, take a good look at the mineral water bottle in your hand and imagine what the world could be!  From your hand to the Airavath, to the recycling factory, to Adidas and back to your feet in your shoes!

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