Adidas set to tap Indian firm's PET project to cut Virgin Plastic use

  • Category
    Ecology and Environment
  • Published
    14th Jun, 2019

Context

  • Global sportswear giant Adidas aims at eliminating the use of virgin plastics in its products by 2024 — with a little help from a Maharashtra-based firm — the only one of its kind in the country to produce yarn out of discarded PET bottles.
  • Discarded bottles are upcycled to make high-quality polyester filament yarn for Adidas products.

About

More on news:

  • At its first factory set up in Nashik five years ago, Polygenta Technology Limited deploys an unique technology to break down used PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) bottles and convert them into polyester filament yarn.
  • The firm, with a capacity to convert 30 tonnes of PET bottles into yarn a day, plans to scale up capacity to around 100 tonnes a day in the next two years to meet demand from the likes of Adidas — one of its first clients.
  • Polygenta would be converting around 8 to 10 million bottles a day in a couple of years from now. At present, the company recycle roughly two million bottles a day.
  • The yarn produced by Polygenta, currently sent to Adidas’ manufacturing centres to be converted into sportswear, and may also be tapped to potentially upcycle clothes made from polyester yarn.
  • According to the United Nations, around 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced every year — roughly the weight of the entire human population. Of this, eight million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the oceans; PET bottles are the main contributors to plastic waste globally and in India.
  • PET material collection rate in India is nearly 80% — among the best in the world — but a good portion of these bottles are downcycled, eliminating the possibility of further recycling. Downcycling is reuse of waste in a manner that the recycled product is of lower value than the original material.

Energy efficient

  • The upcycling process consumes 86% less water and 75% less energy than conventional manufacturing, but costs approximately 10% more.
  • A key area where costs can be reduced is curbing the level of contamination in PET bottles. If PET bottles are disposed and collected properly, one can expect savings to the tune of ?5 per kg. In Japan individuals dispose PET bottles after removing the caps and the labels.
  • Virgin Plastic, is the resin produced directly from the petrochemical feed-stock, such as natural gas or crude oil, which has never been used or processed before.

 

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