The Pros And Cons Of Recycled PET

by: Rosie Dalton | 10 months ago | Features

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This week we are launching some new styles by Patagonia, which are made from Recycled PET plastic bottles (RPET). So we are revisiting the pros and cons of Recycled PET – and why we find it more sustainable.


What is RPET?
Essentially, Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a form of polyester that has been used prolifically in the fashion industry since World War Two. The polymer was first synthesised in North America by Dupont chemists during the 1940s. And has since been used for plastic packaging, as well as for clothing – particularly performance garments such as athletic wear.

Recycled PET (or RPET) is considered a more sustainable alternative to this virgin material because it results in a lower energy consumption and reduced environmental impact.

What are the pros?
Recycled PET offers the opportunity to reduce emissions and extend the lifecycle of virgin PET. This is important because manufacturing new PET generates significant emissions of toxic chemicals (including nickel, ethylbenzene, ethylene oxide, benzene). PET also takes a long time to break down naturally in the environment, which is why we should recycle it wherever possible.


And what are the cons?
Although it is a more sustainable alternative, RPET is still not a perfect solution. As with all synthetic materials, RPET can shed tiny microplastics, which are harmful for our planet and particularly for our oceans. So it is important to always use a GuppyFriend when washing your synthetic garments.




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