From plastic bottle to the football pitch!

Did you ever wonder if there was a use for the billions of plastic bottles that are discarded each year? Although many of us now recycle them through our regular weekly rubbish collections, exactly how are they then reused? You may be surprised by the answer.

Eleanor-altIt’s not often we get to feature football in one of our blogs, but this story came to us from SDC member, John Ciesielski. John is Quality Regulatory Manager at Airedale Chemical in Yorkshire. John’s daughter Eleanor was signed last June whilst aged 16 by super league 1 Giants Manchester City Women’s Football team.

Eleanor can be seen here in her new kit. She will be wearing the new Nike shirt from around July 2016, which is a full month or so before the multimillion pounds men’s team.

The Manchester City 2015/16 home kit features the club’s iconic sky blue and white. In addition to the performance innovation technology that you would expect in sportswear, the story of how the kit was manufactured is interesting and links strongly to environmental sustainability.

Nike, along with a number of other leading brands, places sustainability at the heart of its kits through the use of recycled polyester. This delivers great performance for its sportswear, and has a lower environmental impact.

So each piece of the kit – the shirt, shorts and socks – is constructed with recycled polyester. This is made from recycled plastic bottles that are melted down to produce the fine yarn that is used to create the fabric.

Each kit is made using an average of 18 recycled plastic bottles. Since 2010, Nike has diverted more than two billion plastic bottles from landfill into recycled polyester, which is apparently enough to cover about 3,500 football pitches.

By using recycled polyester, Nike is also reducing the energy consumed in the manufacturing process by up to 30 percent compared to virgin polyester.

So next time you recycle a plastic bottle, you may be surprised where it could end up. We wish Eleanor the best of luck in her new kit!


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