What is rPET?
SooBluu microfiber towels are made from recycled plastic (rPET). But what exactly is rPET and how is it made?
rPET is the short name often used for recycled polyethylene tetraphyte (PET). PET itself comes from crude oil. Extracting crude oil from the ground is very harmful to the environment. But very popular because it is extremely durable(read "strong"), versatile and inexpensive compared to other options. Moreover, unlike many other plastics, PET can be recycled and reused.
However, one of PET's main strengths creates one of its biggest problems. Because it is such a strong product, PET takes 700 years to degrade in the soil, should it end up in landfills. Although PET recycling has improved dramatically over the past decade, much more needs to be done. Parts of the world already have mountains the size of small towns, filled with nothing but dumped PET plastic. Because we use a lot of PET, we are still filling up these landfills every day.
So how does rPET help the problem of plastic pollution?
In short, rPET takes plastic that is already made, usually plastic bottles, and chops the bottles into small flakes. These flakes are then melted to separate the PET core ingredient in the bottle. This PET can then be used to make anything from a new bottle, sweater to our beautiful SooBluu microfiber towels. Not only does it use up to 50% less energy than making PET from scratch, but by using existing bottles that have already been made, it ensures that these bottles do not end up in landfills. It also means we can leave the planet as it is: instead of obtaining the core ingredient through the highly damaging process of primary crude oil extraction, we are instead using a product in abundance that otherwise might have contributed directly to landfill.