Fashionistas take note: Levi joins the recycling trendPlastic recycling continues to progress. It has progressed so much that when you look to shop for those perfect fit jeans, you may actually be wearing the soda or water bottles you recycled a couple a months ago at the curb.
By: By Steve Christen/“The Recycling Guy”, Superior Telegram
Plastic recycling continues to progress. It has progressed so much that when you look to shop for those perfect fit jeans, you may actually be wearing the soda or water bottles you recycled a couple a months ago at the curb.
Everyone is familiar with the name Levi Strauss. They have been a leading manufacturer of denim outerwear for more than 100 years here in America. They have introduced new denim that consists of a mixture of recycled plastic and traditional cotton fibers.
The new line of clothing is labeled the “Waste Less” line of jeans and jackets. While continuing to define the latest fashions in denim wear, they help alleviate the massive influx of plastic wasted to our landfills and ultimately the environment.
According to company news releases, the new line of Waste Less products contains a minimum of 20 percent post-consumer recycled content, which depending on size, accounts for eight to 10 20-ounce recycled bottles.
The technology to combine plastic and cotton fibers is not new. But the fact that a company the size of Levi, which reaches an international market of fashionistas, makes this the largest commitment to incorporate polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic into garments. The company estimates this year, they will use 3.5 million recycled bottles in the production of Levis line of 511 skinny jeans, the 504 straight fit and classic trucker’s jacket.
This commitment by Levi is encouraging because the healthier the market for recycled plastic pop and water bottles, the higher the value of this resource and the more likely it will be that it will be diverted from the solid waste streams. Production uses plastic bottles and trays diverted from landfills to processors who clean and flake them so they can be sold to fiber manufacturers who melt and extrude them, chop them into short fibers and then sell them to yarn spinners who blend the fibers with cotton, spin and indigo dye the yarn, and then weave it into denim fabrics.
The fact that these yarns have 20 percent recycled fiber alone will not cut down on the plastic discarded in landfills.
Only we as consumers will make that happen by taking advantage of the curbside recycling offered locally. Some areas of the country have gone to a plastic bottle deposit; where empty plastic containers can be redeemed for cash at kiosks or collection centers.
While on the surface this effort to use recycled plastic in clothing seems to be a real advancement, it does bring up one problem. Each of the material fibers, cotton and plastic, themselves are recyclable. It’s yet to be seen if, combined into a fabric, this fabric once used would itself be recyclable.
On a different and humorous note, we all know enough not to eat yellow snow, but how about skiing in it? As a person who seldom skis, because of my tendency to face plant, I would have second thoughts about skiing down a hill of yellow snow. Interestingly enough, however, an Arizona ski resort recently made yellow snow for its ski runs. A resort spokesman stated this was not done intentionally. A local reporter commented that the resort shared water connections with local sewage treatment plant. State inspectors however were quick to dismiss. In reality, the off-colored snow was due to rust in the pipes. The ski resort in response to all this commotion, has posted signs detailing the origin of the colored snow.
Just the same, one face planter to another, I just couldn’t bring myself to the possibility of getting a face full of yellow snow.
This month’s call to action is to all home and property owners here in Superior. After logging many years on both a sanitation and recycling truck, I will tell you that one of the most annoying factors in providing service to customers in alleys is the fact that the plows and trucks are approximately the same size. Every time a driver has to get out of his vehicle to retrieve a cart that he can’t reach with the extendable arm, he is forced to walk the length of his truck through a snow bank.
To this day, I still wear boot socks over my pants legs to keep snow from going up past my boot and to my calf. I have been accused of having a unique look about my winter dress, but it stems from being hip deep in snowdrifts.
With that said please, be sure to keep your refuse and recycling carts accessible to those who serve you. They will appreciate it, I assure you, yours truly, “The Recycling Guy”!
Excerpts of this article were derived from Waste and Recycling News, and Earthtechling.