Discarded plastic bottles turn into sportwear

Discarded plastic bottles turn into sportwear

Using a German technology, PET flakes are melted to produce fibre

With the twin objective of saving the environment even while generating income out of discarded plastic waste, a Karur-based company has been producing ready-made garments from discarded plastic (PET) bottles.

The company, Sree Renga Polymers, started in 2008 at Kakkavdi on the outskirts of the town mainly to produce PET flakes, has forayed into producing sportswear and winter garments from the discarded bottles. If the used drinking water plastic bottle is a waste for many, it is a treasure for the company as it is their raw material for garments. In fact, it has activated a supply chain management, right from rag pickers to organised traders to procure as many used bottles as possible from many parts of South India.

Upon sourcing the used bottles to its unit at Kakkavadi, the company does all end-to-end functions, right from sorting, crushing and washing to melt spinning, yarn spinning and knitting to garmenting. Using a German technology, PET flakes are melted in high temperature to produce fibre. At the end of the process, the up-cycled fibre resembles cotton. The fibre is then put into the process of spinning yarns and then to knitting and garmenting. About 20 tonnes of fibre is produced a day. By blending organic cotton yarn and fibre yarn, the company produces T-shirts and other ready-made garments mainly for all types of sports, including football, cricket and tennis. They are being marketed online under the name of ‘Ecoline.’

“We feel happy that we are able to contribute to the cause of environment, although in a small way. Our garments are cent percent eco-friendly,” says K. Sankar, Managing Partner of the firm.

By following dope dyeing technology, he claims that colours are blended while producing fibre without using water. Not a single drop of water is used for dyeing.

Senthil Sankar, other Managing Partner, said that 10 lakh plastic bottles, which could fill a football stadium, have been so far crushed, recycled and up-cycled to produce fibre yarn. Since 2008, the company had recycled about 5,000 crore bottles, he said.