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Making Fiber-to-Fiber Recycling a Reality for Polyester Textiles

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is one of the most commercially significant polymers in the global materials economy. The material is commonly used for packaging, as well as various textile applications. In fact, the volume of PET flowing through the global economy is much greater for the production of fibers, yarns and woven and non-woven fabrics than it is for packaging, films and other rigid applications.

However, despite the ubiquity and importance of PET textiles, most of the goods produced eventually are incinerated or end up in landfills due to the lack of an infrastructure for keeping them in circulation to create materials for future products.

In Chemical Recycling: Making Fiber-to-Fiber Recycling a Reality for Polyester Textiles, GreenBlue explores the opportunities and challenges of recycling pre and post-consumer PET textiles in the context of four industry sectors: apparel, contract textiles, carpet and contract office furniture. The report includes information about five companies with different technologies for chemically transforming PET textiles into valuable end products, as well as feature stories about companies and organizations that have developed strategies and innovative products and services for keeping PET textiles in circulation based on reuse or more traditional methods of recycling to produce high-quality goods. Chemical Recycling also illustrates the benefits and constraints of open and closed-loop systems, nothing the advantages that chemical recycling may offer for building an efficient and effective open-loop system for circulating all types of PET materials.

 

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