We have decided to do our part in saving the earth by using recycled materials in our bags going forward. Our bags, like most, are made from nylon or polyester which can be equally great quality recycled. Plastic gets a bad wrap, however, the problem with plastic lies not in how it is used, which is generally harmless, but in end-of-life management of products made from it. Since 1950, close to half of all plastic has ended up in landfill or dumped in the wild, and only 9% of used plastic has been adequately recycled. Every year, it is estimated that 4 to 12 million metric tons of plastic waste ends up in the oceans.
In 2017, Europe exported over 2 billion metric tons of plastic waste to China. This market is currently in a transitory period as a result of a Chinese government ban on the import of post-consumer waste that came into force in January 2018.
For Goodordering, we use a fabric called RePET®. It is a relatively new recycled polyester fiber manufactured from used PET bottles. Using environmentally-friendly recycling processes, RePET® does not depend on petroleum and so reduces environmental burden without compromising quality. We are very aware that recycling alone isn't going to solve our problems, and some might even say its too late already. But we need to do something.
Energy is a big part of this equation, too! Creating a plastic water bottle from 100% recycled content uses 75% less energy than its virgin counterpart. Although some energy and water is still needed to process these plastics into new forms (such as our eco roll top backpack) the amount is significantly less than creating first-time plastics.
Its important to note that plastic can often only be recycled once or twice into a new plastic product. Oftentimes this will be into something that doesn't have to carry food or meet stringent strength requirements, such as lightweight household items. That's because the polymers break down in the recycling process. Recycling bottles into fabric for clothing and bags is an ideal use for recycled PET pellets, so thats why we have selected to use recycled fibres in our Goodordeing eco bags.
Once the plastic is collected for recycling it is broken down into pellets. You need to shred the bottles into tiny pieces and separate out the caps and labels from the bottle material. (thats why its important to take the lids off bottles before putting them into the recycling) The cap of a water bottle is a different kind of plastic than the PET bottle itself. After this the shredded material is dried, the pellets are melted down.
Using recycled PET bottles is the key way to be able to keep using plastic but with a better conscience. Plastic / polyester bags are great because it makes bags that are strong, waterproof, durable and also lightweight.
This photoshoot above shows our eco range with PET bottles, you can see the rest of the range HERE. In 2019 we started with a small range of bags made from recycled materials with the aim to continue to increase the eco credentials of the brand as it comes more possible financially.
Fast forward to 2021, our full range of eco bags is here. Our latest range of eco bags is currently in the pipeline. We took inspiration from the classic laundry shopper bags that are found all around the world.
- Plastics can be recycled a couple of times but the polymers do degrade through the process
- Plastic types are separated and made into pellets
- The pellets can be mixed with 'virgin' or new material to create different percentages of recycled materials
- The pellets are melted down
- The melted plastic is made into yarn
- The yarn is re-woven into new fabric