In the UK, we throw away billions of plastic bottles every year. Here are some facts about plastic that may shock you:
- 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year in the UK, that’s about 15 million bottles per day.
- Most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.
- The use of plastic in Western Europe is growing by about 4% each year.
- Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.
At Sundried, we use recycled plastic bottles and give them new life by turning them into gym apparel. It’s an incredible way for us to continue to share our ethical values and support our ethos of protecting the planet. But how do we do it?
Stage 1: Recycled bottles are taken to a recycling centre where they are shredded so that any liquid is removed. They are then boxed up to be shipped to stage 2.
Stage 2: The bottles are sorted into clear and coloured plastic, stickers, and bottle lids. They are put in a bath where the lids float to the top and can be cleared. Next, it's bath number two in chemicals which help to remove the stickers.
Stage 3: After two chemical baths, the plastic bottles have now become a pile of soggy clear plastic shreds. So it’s time to dry it off. The plastic spends around 10 hours in what is effectively a slow cooker, rotating until it's dry and ready for the next step in its journey to become activewear.
Stage 4: Next the mixture is sent through a rotating screw where it is heated to a whopping 270 degrees celsius, which melts the plastic, and it is then dropped into large strings which are collected into a container below.
Stage 5: We now have large strings of thread, but it’s not strong enough for our activewear just yet. It is reheated and stretched to create stronger, binding fibres.
Stage 6: So what do we do with these new stronger fibres? We tear them apart again. Once they are torn apart, we’re left with a fluffy raw substance.
Stage 7: The fluff is sent off to another factory to be made into cloth. A machine lays the fibres into a rough cloth. This rough cloth is then spun into fibre and collected on giant bobbins.
Stage 8: The thread is now ready to be transformed into one of our wonderful Sundried designs.So, what was once rubbish is now sweat-wicking, functional, and stylish activewear! It helps to conserve and protect the planet and contributes to combatting climate change.