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Recycling plastics into textile

Sandra Wekesa 

As I toured an exhibition held at KICC, I came across several useful money minting ideas. The main idea that caught my attention and made me think twice about plans to tackle the challenges of plastics, was how one company recycles plastic bottles to come up with wonderful textiles.

Pet recycling Company Limited (Petco) is giving life to Pet (Polyethylene terephthalate) plastics.

Every time you think about having a soda, how about considering saving that bottle in exchange for a few coins?  It is also about saving the environment from pollution.

Sparing some space in your house to keep collected bottles together can be a good idea. Those plastics you collected, if taken through an industrial process, will produce great textiles, which are used to make clothes or duvet stuffings.

The first process is to cut the bottle into Pet flakes the moment a bottle is put into a Pet granulator, which cuts them into small pieces.

Joyce Gachugi, Petco country programme manager, explains that once the bottle is collected, it is further extruded into pet palates.

“At this point, it doesn’t matter what colour the flakes are, they will still make great textile that is usable,” says Joyce.

She explains that under high heat, the extracted palates go through further processing, whose end product is polyester fibre and pet geotextile.

The industry, later on, sells the textile to companies that make clothes. As much as this process cannot be done at home, taking part in collecting the bottles is important.

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