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Recycle Week 2023: Recycled Polyester Labels

Recycle Week is the perfect time to reflect on the small yet impactful changes we can make to reduce our environmental footprint. Recycling, as we all know, is a crucial part of this process. However, there’s a significant issue at play: the phenomenon of “missed capture.” This term refers to the items that can be recycled but are commonly missed in our homes. Among these unsung heroes of recycling are recycled polyester labels, which play a vital role in sustainable fashion and beyond.

What Are Recycled Polyester Labels?

Recycled polyester labels are a subtle yet powerful component in many of our clothing items. These labels are often sewn into our clothes, and they provide essential information about the garment’s care instructions and materials used. However, what most of us don’t realise is that these labels can also have a sustainable twist.

While traditional clothing labels are made from virgin polyester, recycled polyester labels are crafted from post-consumer or post-industrial recycled polyester materials. This small switch from using brand-new materials to recycled ones is a brilliant example of how recycling can be integrated into the very fabric of our lives.

The Missed Capture

Missed capture is a critical issue in recycling, and recycled polyester labels are a prime example. Many of us diligently separate our plastics, paper, and glass, but we often overlook these labels because of their small size and subtle presence. It’s an instance of the small things making a significant impact. These labels, if recycled properly, can contribute to a reduction in virgin polyester production and promote a circular fashion economy.

Recycling Recycled Polyester Labels

To ensure that we’re not missing out on the recycling potential of polyester labels, it’s essential to know how to handle them correctly. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Remove the Labels: Before discarding clothing items, carefully cut out the labels. This ensures that the recycled polyester labels don’t get lost in the textile recycling process.
  2. Separate and Sort: Once removed, keep these labels separate from other textile waste, such as damaged clothes or textiles that can’t be repaired or upcycled. This will make it easier to recycle them efficiently.
  3. Check Local Recycling Facilities: Not all recycling facilities accept these labels, so it’s crucial to check with your local recycling centre. Some may have specialised programs or partners that can handle these materials.

Benefits of Recycling Recycled Polyester Labels

Reduction in Virgin Polyester Production: By recycling these labels, we reduce the demand for new polyester production, which has a significant environmental impact due to its reliance on fossil fuels.

Contribution to Circular Fashion: Polyester labels that are recycled can be used to create new clothing items, contributing to the circular fashion economy.

In conclusion, Recycle Week is the perfect time to reflect on our recycling practices and make small yet impactful changes. Recycled Polyester labels may seem like a tiny detail, but they play a significant role in reducing the environmental footprint of the fashion industry and promoting sustainability. By recognising the value of these labels and ensuring they are recycled properly, we can contribute to the reduction of missed capture and take another step towards a more sustainable future. Let’s celebrate the unsung heroes, starting with those humble recycled polyester labels!

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