Buy products made from recycled soda containers
From jewelry to jackets to rugs, many eco-savvy companies are finding creative new ways to breath new life into spent pop cans and bottles.
Ever imagine that you could take a load off on a can of ginger ale? Slip into a comfortable pair of plastic root beer bottles? It's very possible thanks to ingenious companies that take old Fido, or even a solar oven. Next time you haul that spent six-pack to the recycle bin, keep in mind that those empties can come back to haunt (or help, rather) you in a great green way.
Find it! Products made from recycled soda cans and bottles
Quench your insatiable thirst for sustainable shopping by checking out the below items crafted from recycled soda containers, both aluminum and plastic. Ranging from utilitarian to decorative, these are just a small taste of the items giving new life to potential landfill cloggers.
Before you buy
When buying certain products, you may be unwittingly investing in recycled soda containers. For example, the fiber for outdoor jackets, carpeting, and sleeping bags is often derived from reclaimed soda bottles. It requires one 2-liter soda bottle to yield the fill for a ski jacket and 35 soda bottles to be transformed into sleeping bag stuffing. An impressive one-third of carpeting is made from reclaimed polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
Feeling dressy? It takes 26 PET bottles to make a polyester suit.
If you want to ensure that such products are made from recycled content, simply ask the manufacturer or retailer pre-purchase.
Buying products made from recycled soda containers helps you go green because…
- With 1 billion pounds of PET bottles and 51.5 billion aluminum cans (two thirds containing soft drinks and juices) recovered in 2004, you can help give these containers a second life.
- By supporting the recycled product industry you ensure that aluminum cans and plastic bottles are steered clear of landfills. By recycling 1 pound of PET bottles, around 12,000 Btu of heat energy is saved.
- Buying products made from recycled soda containers — or any recycled material for that matter — eliminates the need for virgin materials, particularly oil. These materials pose severe environmental threats in their procurement and manufacture.
Thanks to an impressive amount of companies integrating recycled materials into a wide variety of products, consumers no longer have to struggle too hard in making buying recycled a "PET project". From made-in-Canada tote bags
to an Ohio-based purveyor of promotional products
, companies are making good green use out of used soda containers, specifically PET bottles and aluminum. In addition to making it easier for consumers to buy recycled by default, they're preventing the 2 million plastic containers used every minute and 65 billion aluminum soft drink cans from entering landfills.
In total, 73 percent of soda sold in 1999 was in 2-ounce aluminum cans, 27 percent in plastic bottles of various sizes, and less than 1 percent in glass bottles.
An eco-exemplary company reclaiming plastic soda bottles for reuse is Mohawk Flooring
. The company runs the world's largest integrated plastic bottle recycling facility in Georgia. US consumers recycle 30 percent of their plastic bottles, 25 percent of which Mohawk buys and transforms into their popular everSTRAND
carpeting. In total, this bright green company
takes in 215 million pounds of plastic bottles annually.
is another company at the forefront of the PET fiber movement. Since incorporating polyester made from discarded soda bottles into their woodsy-chic clothing in 1993, the company estimates that upwards of 86 million soda bottles have been diverted from landfills — that's more than enough oil to fuel a Chevy Suburban 20,000 times.
- Steve Spangler Science - The Science of Making Soda Bottles
- SKS Bottle - Recycle Plastic Containers
- American Beverage Association - Fact Sheet: Recycling Data
- Foss Manufacturing - Ecospun
- Grassroots Recycling Network - Aluminum Can Waste: Bigger Impact Than Plastic Bottle Waste
- Mohawk Flooring - Reduce…Reuse…RECYCLE
- Patagonia - Fabric: Recycled and Recyclable Polyester
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