03/01/2020 – Recycling — auf Deutsch lesen

Innovative ways to reuse PET bottles

In a new guise: How old PET bottles are turned into jackets, bags or fruit bags.


© KnowledgeCotton Apparel


Recycling fashion is currently very much in vogue: more and more established brands such as adidas, Zara and H&M are relying on clothing made out of recycled materials. For their collections, the fashion giants use recycled cot-ton, recycled polyester or plastic waste from the sea. The use of old PET bottles is also very popular. We would like to show you examples of where recycled PET is used.

share launches 100 percent recycled water bottle

For a long time, PET bottles made of 100 percent recycled material were regarded as a dream of the future in Germany – until in 2018 the Berlin start-up share successfully established a bottle made of 100 percent recycled plastic on the market. With its 0.5 and 1-litre bottles, the young company promotes the so-called bottle-to-bottle cycle, i.e. the recycling of old PET bottles into new ones from recycled material. By this means, share has already been able to save around 200 tons of new plastic. The increasing use of recycled PET bottles is constantly improving the ecological profile of plastic bottles. Currently, the average proportion of recyclate in non-refillable PET bottles is 26 percent. In addition, the bottle-to-bottle cycle has a clear ecological advantage over the processing of old PET bottles into other products such as textile fibres and films, as these, unlike plastic containers, can only be reprocessed once. For this reason, associations such as Forum PET and the RAL quality association Wertstoffkette PET-Getränkeverpackungen are committed to the sustainable strengthening of the cycle.

Scandinavian men’s fashion for all weather conditions

The fashion company KnowledgeCotton Apparel has set itself ambitious goals: By 2025, the Danes want to reach the mark of 5.5 mn recycled PET bottles used as raw material for their sustainable and fair clothing. By the end of June 2019, the figure had already reached just over 3 mn. 25 PET bottles flow into the production of a single jacket. Its material consists of 100 percent of recycled PET.

Sweating with a clear conscience

It is a must for every active woman: the sports bra. With its model “Piz Ela”, the sportswear company Sundried offers a sustainable alternative. The fashion label, founded in 2015 by triathlete Daniel Puddick, distributes two clothing lines made of 100 percent recycled materials: The Eco Charge line is made from used coffee filters and the Eco Core line is made from recycled PET bottles.

Superhero with environmental awareness

The Hamburg fashion label Johnny Urban offers sustainable backpacks with its “Eco Series” product line. Both the inner and outer fabric are made of recycled polyester, 100 percent of which is recovered from old plastic bottles. A current example is the Robin waterproof roll-out backpack.

First geogrid made of recycled PET yarn

The Huesker Group proves that old PET bottles are an important base material not only for the fashion world. The leading manufacturer of geo-synthetics and technical textiles from Gescher (Germany) recently launched the world’s first geogrid made of 100 percent recycled PET yarn. The recycled geogrid, which is used as an asphalt layer for reinforcement in road construction, is ecologically superior to conventional geogrids in road construction: Each kilogram of recycled PET yarn saves around 4.3 kilograms of CO2 emissions compared to non-recycled PET yarn. This is the equivalent of driving 33 kilometres by car. Further products in the eco version from Huesker will soon follow and will thus also be available for applications in earthworks and foundation engineering.

Bags made of sustainable natural materials

Cork and felt are versatile natural materials. The Saxon fashion company UlStO has recognized this – and uses it for its own purposes. The young company from Dresden produces handmade bags and accessories with a high recognition value. The Saxons attach great importance to regionality and sustainability. Therefore, production is mainly in the Erzgebirge and the felt, which is used to produce bag models such as “Pectina Konfetti”, consists of recycled PET bottles.

Dog accessories with high versatility

Dogs usually sleep 12 to 14 hours a day. A comfortable place to sleep is a must. With its dog blanket “Buddy Büggel” the manufacturer of dog ac-cessories BUDDY. offers a comfortable and versatile option. With a pillow at home, the lying area can be turned into a backpack with an integrated towel in no time. The multifunctional dog accessories are produced in a German sewing shop by people with disabilities. The seamstresses only use thread made of recycled plastic bottles.

Shopping for the preservation of the German forests

For every charity shopper sold, the Hessian fashion company Lässig plants a tree in Germany. It thus supports the work of the environmental organization Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald. However, Lässig goes even further when it comes to environmental protection: all shoulder bags from the Green Label collection are made of recycled plastic bottles.

The IK Kunststoffverpackungen plastic packaging association

IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen eV (IK) is a federal association representing the interests of plastic packaging and film manufacturing in Germany and Europe. Forum PET provides information on range of PET applications, properties, ecological optimisation and recycling. The Forum’s members include international companies from the entire value chain – PET manufacturers, preform and bottle makers, machine engineering companies, bottle top manufacturers, and bottling and recycling companies.