The term polyester describes a category of polymers produced by mixing ethylene glycol (derived from petroleum) and terephthalic acidChemical jargon aside, polyester is a common plastic with a wide range of applications extending beyond the fashion industryIt ranks third behind polyethylene (packaging and water bottles) and
This mantra has also driven myriad sustainability efforts, including in textile recycling companiesRecycling textiles is important because the industry produces billions of pounds of unused materials each year, relies on fossil fuels to make virgin plastics, and has a mandate to recycle polyester and other materials to keep them from
The environmental impacts of polyester are significantCheap polyester is probably the biggest offender when it comes to the high environmental cost of fashionIf you want to maintain a sustainable wardrobe, it is best to avoid purchasing new polyester garments unless they are manufactured with fabric made from recycled polyester or recycled
How easy is polyester recycling Recycled polyester fibers aren't as environmentally friendly as they seemRecycling textile waste is a step in the right direction to make fashion more sustainableBut recycling isn't nearly enough to limit the global plastic waste and microfiber pollution crisis.
Kingsport, Tenn USA, March , Eastman (NYSEEMN), one of the worlds leading specialty materials companies, announced today its intention to pursue the launch of an innovative advanced circular recycling technology that uses polyester waste which cannot be recycled by current mechanical methods, and as a result, often ends up in landfills and waterways.
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.
And like polyester, a lot of natural fibres made into textiles often arent recycled due to difficulties recycling clothing and textilesSome people make the point that polyester might need less washing, ironing and after purchase care than some natural fabrics, and has a lower eco and sustainability footprint because of this, but this is a
The process of recycling PET impacts the environment, too According to Grossman, another issue concerning the recycling process of polyester is that the chips generated by mechanical recycling can vary in color some turn out crispy white, while others are creamy yellow, making color consistency difficult to achieve.
The overwhelming popularity of recycled polyester would suggest that its a kind of miracle solution for fashion and the environmentAnd although it is a real solution, its not as simple as all that, and its certainly not a license to mass produce new polyester for secondary recycling.