Unifi Inc., an innovator in recycled and synthetic yarns, has reached a key goal set in 201 of transforming more than 20 billion PET bottles. The driver of this new milestone was Unifi’s REPREVE® platform of recycled performance fibers, which has been adopted by more than 500 global brand and textile partners.
Tom Caudle, president and COO of Unifi, said, “Because it takes one plastic bottle an average of 450 years or more to start decomposing, it’s important to keep as much plastic as possible out of our natural and urban landscapes.”
To put the milestone into context, 20 billion single-serve plastic bottles can physically circle the earth approximately 100 times. The company says that recycling and transforming these bottles has the potential to:
- Save enough energy to power more than 189,000 average homesfor one year;
- Save more than 1.7 billion liters of water, the equivalent of one year of drinking water for approximately 2.3 million people
- Improve air quality by avoiding more than 517 million kilograms of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of eliminating CO2emissions from the consumption of 1.2 million barrels of oil.
The idea for REPREVE® was born in the early 2000s when Unifi was looking for a way to recycle its own fiber waste. The solution evolved to include using recycled plastic bottles as raw material for fiber, with the option to add performance capabilities like moisture-wicking and odor control.