Polyester is the most widely used fiber worldwide & had a market share of around 52 % of the global fiber production in 2018. I am sure all of us would be familiar with the word polyester which is extensively used in making clothing.
Polyester is made from PET(Poly Ethylene Terephthalate) Chips which in turn is made from ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. Basically all these are crude oil derivatives. The same PET chips are also used to make packaging material, plastic bottles and many more plastic products. Implying it causes similar impact to environment as that of plastic.
The fiber made from raw PET is called ‘Virgin Polyester Staple Fiber(VPSF)’ whereas those made from recycled PET bottle waste are called ‘Recycled Polyester Staple Fiber(RPSF)’
But given the stretchier and resistant nature of product with reasonable pricing , the market polyester products are expected to grow fast, more so in the Sportswear segment. The recycling of these clothes are very difficult because of it being mixed with various materials while manufacturing. Also, the use of PET bottle is going to go up only with the increased consumption of beverages, mineral water, fruit juices as well as the introduction of smaller bottles.
So the best fit solution as of now seem to be use of recycled plastic(PET Bottle waste) in clothing. Recycled PET chips are also called rPET.
Recycling is the most environment friendly alternative for plastic waste disposal.
In 2017, non-profit organization Textile Exchange challenged over 50 textile, apparel and retail companies (including giants like Adidas, H&M, Gap and Ikea) to increase their use of recycled polyester by 25 percent by 2020. It worked: in 2018, the organization issued a statement celebrating that signatories have not only met the goal two years before the deadline, they have actually exceeded it by upping their use of recycled polyester by 36 percent.
There is constant pressure on these brands to continue using recycled materials for their products.
Ganesha Ecosphere Ltd(GPL) is the largest PET recycler in the country in terms of production capacity of manufacturers of Recycled Polyester Staple Fiber(RPSF) in India. PET recycling industry which has ~40 organized players, accounting for 85-90% share of the industry.
Recycling industry is growing by 10+%.