5 reasons for recycled polyester

Magazine for Textiles, Clothing, Leather and Technology

“Plastic waste is polluting the world’s oceans”, “Crude oil is a limited raw material” – headlines like these dominate the clothing and textile industry, and one thing is clear: sustainability has never been so in demand! There are many different approaches to moving in the direction of “green textiles” and therefore protecting the environment and the limited resources.

One option is to produce man-made fibres like polyester out of recycled materials. TWD Fibres has been treading this path for many years – with its bestseller DIOLEN®ReCIRCLE.   Various questions keep on arising in connection with recycled textiles, and these require clarification. Answers to many of them are provided below and reasons given as to why it is worth putting your money on recycled polyester yarn, and especially on DIOLEN®ReCIRCLE.

1.    Virgin polyester is a limited commodity
As you know, the raw material for virgin (i.e. “new”) polyester granulate is made from crude oil – one good reason to use recycled polyester. Because there is only a limited supply of crude oil on our planet and it is a limited resource that needs to be preserved.  Crude oil is used in countless areas – for example, as an energy source, as fuel, to generate electricity, and, of course, in the manufacture of synthetic fibres. In future it can be assumed that all sorts of fields of industry will be competing for “black gold”, so it is advisable not to become fully dependent on this raw material. When manufacturing polyester, it is possible to dispense with crude oil. The granulate for the recycled TWD Fibres DIOLEN®ReCIRCLE yarn, for instance, consists entirely of old PET bottles.

2.    Recycled polyester saves CO2
Significantly less CO2 is released during the manufacture of recycled polyester than in the manufacture of virgin polyester – i.e. the non-recycled yarn. That is because several very complex production stages are no longer required. Instead of the multi-stage processes from crude oil production to the refinery and polymerisation, all that is required to collect PET bottles or other recyclable PES materials and then to processes this material into flakes and then granulate. That means that by the time it gets to the production of granulate, a quantity of 3.6 kg of CO2 per kg of yarn has already been saved.* ** The result is a significantly better carbon footprint for DIOLEN®ReCIRCLE.

3.    TWD Fibres treads new paths
When it is a matter of sustainability and recycling, it requires constant improvement and innovation, so TWD Fibres has an in-house team of specialists working on new methods for using recycled raw materials. These specialists regularly carry out spinning tests and other tests, using recyclable PES materials from the plastics manufacturing industry, for instance, and pressing ahead with joint projects with other companies in order to promote sustainability. One example is using collected plastics from the oceans. That way, the daily focus is on progress, as DIOLEN®ReCIRCLE is a product of the future!

4.    Recycled polyester achieves the same quality standards as virgin polyester
With recycled polyester, the question of haptics and processing properties compared to virgin polyester often arises. The answer is simple: you can’t tell the difference between recycled polyester and virgin polyester, whether with regard to its touch or its possibilities for use. In other words, DIOLEN®ReCIRCLE can do everything virgin polyester can! At TWD Fibres, strict quality controls and process stages carried out in addition ensure that the recycled raw material is of  a  very  high  quality.  Both dope and package dyeing are possible with DIOLEN®ReCIRCLE, and optional yarn finishes, for example an antibacterial finish, can also be applied as usual.

5.    A further life cycle for material that is already available
To be more sustainable, we should produce less waste. One reason why it is worth putting your money on recycled polyester yarn is to avoid waste. Material that is already available is introduced to a new life cycle in recycled yarn. That means less waste is produced which would have to be destroyed using a great deal of energy. That contributes further to an improved carbon footprint for DIOLEN®ReCIRCLE (see 2.).

​​​​​​​* Source: Talk “Sustainability benchmarking – the carbon footprint of upholstery materials for car seats, LANXESS Mobility Day Shanghai; 06.09.2012 I-T-G GmbH – Environmental Technology, Jutta Knödler
** Source: http://www.petrecyclingteam.com/de/hervorragende-co2-bilanz


Source: TWD Fibres