By Julia | August 2, 2010
GreenSmart has a new line of backpacks and messenger bags that I love! A year ago, I bought one of their neogreene laptop sleeves for my Macbook. It doesn’t smell at all, it’s made from toxic-free ingredients and it uses 25% less energy to manufacture and 25% less petroleum to produce than neoprene. Plus, it’s lightweight, durable, and waterproof. So, I am already in love with their products, but now that I’ve heard about their new line of recycled bags, I love this company even more!
The Bottles 2 Bags line is made from 100% post consumer recycled PET plastic bottles. Every year in the US, 230 bottles per person go to a landfill, which is enough to fill the Rose Bowl stadium every 2 weeks! So when you purchase one of these products, you’re helping to create sustainability on our planet and keep these bottles out of landfills (because they never decompose).
Curious as to how this transition from plastic bottle to trendy messenger bag happens? Me, too! According to GreenSmart’s website, here’s the process:
1. Sorting: workers separate PET bottles from non-PET bottles. They also take out bottles with visible impurities.
2. Baling: the sorted bottles are compacted into bales, because this is an efficient way to transport them to another processing plant. One bale is over 6,000 bottles!
3. Grinding: the bales are ground into PET flakes. Only flakes that are pure (no bottle screw tops or foreign plastics) are used for fabric.
4. Washing: the flakes are then washed. And through a process of de-polymerizing and re-polymerizing, the flakes are separated from chemical impurities and converted to PET chips. This the the material that results in fibers that can be woven into yarn.
5. Yarn Twisting: the fibers get fed into a yarn twisting machine that creates varying sizes of thread. The yarn is spooled so it can be later used for weaving.
6. Weaving: the yarn is woven into fabric using looms. Different characteristics in fabric can be created at this stage in the process: heavier, lighter, finer, more dense, softer, etc.
The finished product is a durable, sustainable messenger or backpack that looks great! Each bag even displays a badge that tells you how many recycled plastic bottles were used to create it.