Did you even guess that the jerseys worn by the Indian Cricket Team for the World Cup were made out of recycled PET?

Seat cushions, seat backs, door panel inserts and headliners have already been attempted from PET as a resource.

So, any idea where that pet bottle that you’ve just chucked into the bin is headed? You did put it in the recycling bin, right? Perhaps, to the nearest loom 

Used plastic bottles and looms? Automated. Using less energy and much less water to convert the recycled polyester derived from the PET bottles into snazzy jackets for you and me to slip into. And get this - actually visualise that you buying this jacket means 20 PET bottles did not end up in a landfill close by, adding to the already over-polluted earth.  

By putting the PET bottle in the recycling bin, you’d be doing your bit – for the environment. That is also a source of assured livelihood for the thousands of rag-pickers and scrap dealers.. 

Join the movement. Spread the word. Start a trend. Pet bottles might not be valuable to you, but you now know to whom they can make a world of difference. Brings to mind Gandhiji’s idea of Khadi as the liberator of physical and mental bondage. And look where Khadi as a fabric is today! This jacket that you hold in your hand is not just a piece of cloth. It is an idea too: that those bottles can actually be a viable, eco-friendly and sustainable resource. The polyester used for making products like these was converted from PET bottles which were recycled into yarn and then polyester fibre.

By the way, seat cushions, seat backs, door panel inserts and headliners have already been attempted. PlantBottle Technology™ from The Coca-Cola Company was applied for the first time beyond PET packaging as part of the interior fabric of a Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid research vehicle way back in 2013. The research vehicle marked the first time PlantBottle Technology was applied beyond packaging, and affirmed a joint commitment by the two companies to develop innovative new products produced from renewable materials.

So the next time you lean back and relax on your car seat, take a moment to wonder whether your car seat has been made out of renewable material too or not. 

In the meantime, when a team of CSIR-NCL scientists went looking for answers all over the country to figure out what actually happens to used PET bottles, they found to their surprise that recycling PET has turned into a Rs 3,500 crore (a year) industry in India! They had a remarkable under-the-surface story of how waste collectors, traders, recyclers around the country have formed a seamless chain to systematically collect, sort and recycle PET bottles into a surprising range of products. PET is a resource, not a waste product any more. 

{National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL), Pune, established in 1950, is a constituent laboratory of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). If this is of interest log on to www.petrecycling.in to do more